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I made this edit because it is inappropriate for Wikipedia in its own voice to say that certain people are transphobic. Per WP:LABEL: Words to watch:...transphobic,...Value-laden labels...may express contentious opinion and are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. And per WP:WIKIVOICE (part of WP:NPOV): Avoid stating opinions as facts. Usually, articles will contain information about the significant opinions that have been expressed about their subjects. However, these opinions should not be stated in Wikipedia's voice. Rather, they should be attributed in the text to particular sources, or where justified, described as widespread views, etc. For example, an article should not state that "genocide is an evil action", but it may state that "genocide has been described by John X as the epitome of human evil."

WP:WEASEL cannot be used to maintain the current wording because it (1) cannot be used to overrule the NPOV policy, and (2) WP:WEASEL specifically states, The examples above are not automatically weasel words. They may also be used in the lead section of an article or in a topic sentence of a paragraph, and the article body or the rest of the paragraph can supply attribution. Likewise, views that are properly attributed to a reliable source may use similar expressions, if they accurately represent the opinions of the source.

The previous discussion here is not a justification either. That discussion was largely an argument about sourcing and had major involvement by an editor who is now topic banned for their bullying and driving away other editors. On top of that, the admin's closing statement said, Note that the complained-of text, "transphobic hatred" was added and removed on the same day over a month ago and has not been there since. That may have been true of the lead, but "transphobic hatred" remained in the body, and nonetheless, saying "transphobic" without "hatred" in wikivoice is a problem, as I explained.

Anyone in favor of the old wording will need to explain how it meets WP:LABEL and WP:WIKIVOICE. Please note that my proposed wording could possibly be changed even further, and that I am making no claims that any other part of the article is already okay. -Crossroads- (talk) 01:54, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

I think you've adequately addressed the concerns that I and others have expressed here and at this ongoing RfC. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 02:48, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:LABEL makes an exception for when a value judgment is widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, which this is. (It suggests in-text attribution for this case, which I would not object to as long as we attribute it while naming the specific sources, which would also skip WP:WIKIVOICE.) The WP:WEASEL problem here is that there's a big difference in credibility between "some people" and "USA Today". Loki (talk) 12:45, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
What's the wording of the in-text attribution you'd like to see? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:15, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Honestly, the current wording would be fine with a "most" in front of it: considered transphobic by most other feminists. The possible problem is that might be WP:SYNTH : we definitely have sufficient sources that most feminists disagree but I'm not sure if any of them explicitly say a majority of feminists say they're transphobic. If we can't source that, I would attribute specific sources: described as transphobic by USA Today, the Daily Dot, (...). Loki (talk) 16:33, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
The full quote from WP:LABEL is, unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. No exceptions given - use in-text attribution. Arguably, "other feminists" is more credible than "USA Today". However, USA Today did not actually say it in their own voice, but said it as part of a "feminist glossary", indicating that these are feminists' ideas, so this leads us back to "other feminists" anyway.
And a few more words on WP:NPOV, which states: Neutral point of view should be achieved by balancing the bias in sources based on the weight of the opinion in reliable sources and not by excluding sources that do not conform to the editor's point of view. I strongly suspect that this cherry-picking is exactly what has happened in this article, at feminist views on transgender topics, and probably others. Sourcing relies heavily on opinion pieces and partisan media of a single side, even going so far as to use Socialist Worker, Current Affairs, and similar things as sources. Per above, this is not necessarily not allowed, but it is likely one-sided as presented. See also WP:BIASED: reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject.
Lastly, kudos to anyone who checks to see if sources are actually saying what they are claimed to. Already we have had several statements that were not actually supported and had to be removed. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:11, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
I've made an additional edit so the sentence now reads that TERFs are "widely considered transphobic by other feminists" (which I think our current sources support pretty handily). I don't have a problem with in-text attribution (in fact if you want to attribute more specifically, go ahead); my main objection to just saying "other feminists" is that it could be read as just that there exist some other feminists somewhere that think they're transphobic, instead of the probable intended meaning that feminists other than TERFs generally agree that TERFs are transphobic.
As for the sourcing issues: there are several TERF-leaning sources on this page, for one. For two, it's frankly going to be very difficult finding neutral sources about a political ideology, particularly a very controversial one. I'm particularly familiar with this situation because I found several of the sources on this page and on feminist views on transgender topics. There are very few mentions of TERFs in truly neutral sources except for the handful of academic sources about whether TERF is a slur, and news articles about specific events (which are generally not very useful sources for an article about the term itself, though sometimes they do contain some useful bits like the Indy100 piece). The closest ones after that are when a source talks about TERFs as a phenomenon in an explainer article like the one in the Outline, Michelle Goldberg's piece in the New Yorker, or the Daily Dot article: these explainers are usually noticeably slanted because even the act of describing them as "TERFs" versus "gender critical" necessarily takes a side. Loki (talk) 04:51, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
I did revert you and I explained why in the edit summary. I think "other feminists" expresses what we have in the sources, and it seems to imply other feminists as a group anyway.
A case could even be made to remove "transphobic" entirely. To quote WP:LABEL again, Value-laden labels...may express contentious opinion and are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. But remember that WP:NPOV states: Neutral point of view should be achieved by balancing the bias in sources based on the weight of the opinion in reliable sources and not by excluding sources that do not conform to the editor's point of view. WP:BIASED states: reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. While progressive/activist media and opinion pieces do call them "transphobic", other media, and many or most serious academic sources, do not. Given the lack of agreement among RS as a whole, the label could be removed.
Interesting that you state that There are very few mentions of TERFs in truly neutral sources except for the handful of academic sources about whether TERF is a slur, and news articles about specific events and these explainers are usually noticeably slanted because even the act of describing them as "TERFs" versus "gender critical" necessarily takes a side. This seems to agree with what I have suspected; that this article by its very nature has POV issues. Perhaps it is a WP:POVFORK of feminist views on transgender topics and should be merged back there. -Crossroads- (talk) 14:35, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
It might be a good idea to hash out the wording here before editing so as to avoid edit warring.
I think we can more confidently justify using the phrasing "widely considered" if we can find a source that actually makes this claim about general usage, otherwise we are guilty of WP:SYNTH. Until then, "other feminists" or "many other feminists" will do. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:23, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
I think we should say the strongest thing the sources support, and that strongest thing is quite strong. Annoyingly, I haven't so far been able to find a source for "a majority of feminists consider TERFs transphobic". What I have been able to find are sources that a majority of feminists are trans-inclusive, and I have also been able to find many specific instances of feminists (including the entire editorial staff of many feminist magazines) or other writers calling TERFs transphobic. I would really like to find a source that connects the two things, but you're probably right that without such a source directly saying it, it's SYNTH.
Supposing we can't find such a source, I would prefer listing specific sources over just attributing it to "other feminists" or "many other feminists". E.g. ...have been described as transphobic by USA Today, the Daily Dot, Indy100, and a joint statement by several major lesbian publications, as well as many other feminists. (And to shortcut an obvious objection: yes, all these publications said TERFs are transphobic in an article, not an editorial. That they voiced an opinion in an article does not make that opinion less reliable; in fact, it's why I think it's reasonable to attribute these statements to the publication as a whole and not the specific writer.) Loki (talk) 04:12, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
I can get behind your example wording in the body, though listing that many might be a bit much for the lede. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:21, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree. If we want to keep it really short we could just say several sources in the lead, but I think I'd prefer something more along the lines of some news organizations and many feminists. Thoughts? Loki (talk) 20:53, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 02:17, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
No, we don't have the sourcing for this. "Other feminists" is plenty specific, avoids SYNTH, and avoids trying to amass a collection of sources that looks ax-grindey. We can't specify an amount because, as you admitted before, Annoyingly, I haven't so far been able to find a source for "a majority of feminists consider TERFs transphobic". I'm not seeing any lesbian publications. USA Today is just repeating the viewpoint of feminists as part of a feminist glossary, not giving their own view. Indy100 said the term is a synonym for transphobia, which is a comment on usage, not an endorsement of that usage. Daily Dot said that TERF opponents say they are transphobic, thus attributing that viewpoint. Remember that WP:LABEL says that Value-laden labels...may express contentious opinion and are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. And that WP:BIASED says: reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. Many RS do not equate TERFs with transphobia and even consider the term a slur, such as the New Statesman, The Economist, various philosophers, etc. "Transphobic" is not widely used by reliable sources, so we could remove the term entirely per WP:LABEL. Saying "other feminists consider" is the compromise. -Crossroads- (talk) 03:19, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
I think we have a true impasse here, and not enough people around for a clear consensus. When I get to a real computer, I'll start an RfC to hopefully get a more definitive answer. (If I don't by tomorrow please someone ping me.) Loki (talk) 22:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

RfC: How should we attribute "transphobic"?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result is option 1 (leave as is). However, the situation is difficult to assess in terms of policies and guidelines with disagreement over whether WP:LABEL applies to TERF's definition or its application. The latter interpretation (LABEL applies to calling someone a TERF) was used for a counter opinion that the term means that the subject is transphobic, and the only argument should be whether it would be justified to describe a particular individual as a TERF. A third view is that the term means that the subject has expressed opinions that a certain class of people regard as transphobic, while others would say those same opinions are not transphobic. In terms of numbers, option 1 has twice the support of options 1.1 and 4 which were equal second. Johnuniq (talk) 04:24, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Until about a week ago, this page described TERFs as feminists who espouse transphobic sentiments. This was recently changed to feminists who espouse sentiments considered transphobic by User:Crossroads1, and through some talk page discussion has since become feminists who espouse sentiments that other feminists consider transphobic, but we're now at an impasse.

There has been dispute on this talk page about how exactly to phrase this, with debate centering around the following options:

  • Option 1: Leave as is: feminists who espouse sentiments that other feminists consider transphobic
    Option 1.1: Proposed by Darryl Kerrigan: feminists who espouse sentiments that others consider transphobic
  • Option 2: List specific sources: feminists who have been described as transphobic by USA Today, the Daily Dot, Indy100, and a joint statement by several major lesbian publications, as well as many other feminists
  • Option 3: Remove mention of transphobia entirely.
    Option 3.1: Proposed by Rosguill: remove mention of transphobia from the first paragraph but add it to the second which already describes criticism from feminists and academics …have rejected this view and consider it to be transphobic
  • Option 4: Revert to previous wording with no in-text attribution: feminists who espouse transphobic sentiments
  • Option 5: Proposed by User:Pyxis Solitary: feminists who espouse sentiments considered transphobic by transgender advocates

Please list all options you are okay with and which one you most prefer. Loki (talk) 04:06, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

The sources in either case are this Outline piece, this Daily Dot article, this USAToday glossary, this NYT opinion piece, this LGBTQNation article referring to a joint statement by several lesbian publications, and this Indy100 article. Loki (talk) 04:06, 3 September 2019 (UTC)


  • Option 2 as per argument above that we should say the strongest thing we can, though I continue to think option 4 or something like it is permissible based on the strength of the sourcing and the fact that WP:WIKIVOICE and WP:LABEL merely say to avoid the term in question. I'm also going to specifically ping the people from the previous talk page discussion, namely User:Crossroads1 and User:Aeusoes1 Loki (talk) 03:55, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Just want to note: I think Options 1 and 1.1 are not great because they're weaker than the sources support. And options 3 and 5 are even worse and I would strongly oppose either of them. Loki (talk) 23:46, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Since it's getting some support below, I want to make my reasoning for opposing option 5 in particular more clear. Putting the opposition in the mouths of "transgender advocates" is, for one, not accurate unless you count USA Today, the Independent, the Daily Dot and now Vox as "transgender advocates", and for two it paints this as a dispute between two equal sides when it's in fact many major news sources saying "transphobic". Loki (talk) 02:01, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
If it makes the TERF article easier for you to live with, you can modify Option 5 as: "...transgender advocates and some feminists". The generalized "other feminists" statement of Options 1 and 2 can be taken as implying that there are two types of feminists: 1/2 that are TERFs, and 1/2 that are Others. And again, anyone who opposes "TERFs" is not automatically a feminist. Pyxis Solitary yak 10:36, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
We want to ground our wording in what we can source. Do we have sources that are non-feminist opponents to TERFs that call them transphobic? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 16:36, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
The limitation is: only opinions and writings published in "reliable sources" make it through the grind. Pyxis Solitary yak 02:24, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1 is the best, as it shows how the term is used to mean "transphobic" and is therefore problematic to put on BLPs. Option 3 is acceptable. Option 2 is inaccurate. USA Today was stating the viewpoint of feminists as part of a feminist glossary, not giving their own view. Indy100 said the term is a synonym for transphobia, which is a comment on usage, not an endorsement of that usage. Daily Dot said that TERF opponents say TERFs are transphobic, thus attributing that viewpoint, not saying it in their own voice. WP:LABEL says that Value-laden labels...may express contentious opinion and are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. And WP:BIASED says: reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. Many RS do not equate TERFs with transphobia and some even consider the term a slur; these RS include The Economist, seven women philosophers, the New Statesman, Inside Higher Ed, and Slate. These are just the strongest ones that are already in the article, and more do exist. "Transphobic" is not widely used by reliable sources, so we could remove the term entirely per WP:LABEL. We can't say "many other feminists" because, as Loki said before, Annoyingly, I haven't so far been able to find a source for "a majority of feminists consider TERFs transphobic". Trying to list source after source looks like trying to bolster a particular POV. Option 4 is unacceptable per policy. Per WP:WIKIVOICE (part of WP:NPOV): Avoid stating opinions as facts. Usually, articles will contain information about the significant opinions that have been expressed about their subjects. However, these opinions should not be stated in Wikipedia's voice. Rather, they should be attributed in the text to particular sources, or where justified, described as widespread views, etc. For example, an article should not state that "genocide is an evil action", but it may state that "genocide has been described by John X as the epitome of human evil." Also note WP:LABEL again: Words to watch:...transphobic,...Value-laden labels...may express contentious opinion and are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:47, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Option 1.1 is a no-go. It's too vague and suffers from WP:WEASEL. Plus, it implies that all others consider the people labeled TERF to be transphobic, which is definitely wrong. -Crossroads- (talk) 21:42, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1, maybe without the second "feminists" - The sentence seems fine to me. But perhaps it could be improved if written something like this:

Coined in 2008, the term is generally applied to a minority of radical feminists who espouse sentiments that others feminists consider transphobic, such as including opposition to transgender rights, the exclusion of trans women in women's spaces, and the rejection of the assertion that trans women are women.

It is a term used by different people, some likely even incorrectly. Perhaps adding the word "generally" is appropriate (to indicate that others might use it differently). Also I think the more general "others" is preferable to "other feminists" as I expect some folks who don't self identify as feminists have also use the term. Also "including" suggest a non-exhastive list. I don't think those changes are vital, but expect they would improve the sentence. Cheers--Darryl Kerrigan (talk) 18:16, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 4 preferred, with the references to support it in the body. I don't see any genuine controversy here. I see "Trans exclusionary" and "transphobic" as synonyms as a simple matter of language and the references are quite good enough to support this option even for anybody who doesn't buy that.
    Option 1 acceptable with the references to support it in the body. This it is a bit clunky and I don't see it adding anything over option 4.
    Option 2 not preferred. It is too detailed for the lede. The list of specific organisations is good content but it should be in the body.
    Option 3 completely unacceptable. This would be censorship of well referenced information for absolutely no legitimate reason. This is fundamental to providing a basic description of the subject. It cannot be omitted from the lede. I don't even see this as an option and I would have preferred if it had not been included in the list at all as it can only distract from discussion of the sensible options.
    --DanielRigal (talk) 20:02, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Option 5 completely unacceptable because it is tautological or circular. It seeks to invoke an undefined group of "transgender advocates" and ascribe the description to them alone. But what is a "transgender advocate" here? It is just anybody who calls TERFs transphobic, isn't it? It is like calling anybody who calls out racism a "member" of "Antifa". It has the effect of undermining the neutrality of the RS sources by labelling them partisan "advocates". This is weaselly and it looks a lot like an attempt to introduce the "TRA" conspiracy theory without evidence. For this option to be credible we would need RS sources explicitly describing at least the majority of the main sources describing TERFs as transphobic as being "transgender advocates". Such sources do not exist. --DanielRigal (talk) 01:05, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Option 1.1 not preferred. This is vaguer, and hence less preferable, than the original option 1. It is quite likely that many readers would misunderstand or not understand "others" as used here.
Option 3.1 not preferred. It it belongs in the first paragraph. If the two paragraphs of the lede were run together then that would help but I would still rate it as "not preferred". --DanielRigal (talk) 12:41, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
  • the list of specific organizations is good content but it should be in the body: does that mean you think that we should go with options 4/1 in the lede but option 2 in the body, DanielRigal? Loki (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
More or less. I think the body has the scope to list some of the notable organisations and publications that have made statements describing it as transphobic or otherwise condemning the TERF position, as well listing as any supporting it, taking care to make sure that any "organisations" we choose to mention are real and notable and not just "astroturfing" operations. --DanielRigal (talk) 01:05, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1 seems somewhat better supported by policy than Option 4, but both are accurate. Option 2 is not accurate, so it shouldn't be used, and Option 3 would just look like a really awkward attempt to avoid the elephant in the room. Edited to add: Option 1.1 is better than Option 4, but worse than Option 1 because it is less specific, and the importance that the term was invented and primarily used by other feminists (as the article goes on to show, I think) is of chief relevance. Option 3.1 is probably the best of the options so far. Option 5 is simply editing out mention that the criticism is mostly from/within feminism, so it's no good, but I'd find it acceptable if it were something along the lines of trangender activists and other feminists or other feminists and trans people. --Equivamp - talk 20:39, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1 or 1.1 best complies with Wikipedia rules on stating controversial opinions as facts in the editor's voice. Option 4 gets into issues of tautology where opposition to certain points of view is summarily defined as hatred or prejudice. If there were better quality sourcing to scholarly works 4 might be an option but what I see is a lot of lightweight fluff. —DIYeditor (talk) 07:32, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1 = No.  "feminists who espouse sentiments that other feminists consider transphobic". ??? Where is the evidence that those who consider the term transphobic are also feminists?
    Option 1.1 = No.  "feminists who espouse sentiments that others consider transphobic". Who are these "others"?
    Option 2 = No.  We don't treat readers as if they were dunces that can't figure out what citations are for. Just support the statement with RS.
    Option 3 = No.  Because statements that criticize transgender advocacy are considered transphobic by transgender activists.
    Option 4 = No.  "TERF" is a controversial term. Attributions and RS are vital. Additionally, an explanation of what Wikipedia means by "transphobic sentiments" is necessary -- which would require more than media and opinion pieces.
Proposed option:  "feminists who espouse sentiments considered transphobic by transgender advocates ".  Pyxis Solitary yak 12:49, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Realistically, though, I suggest saying which of the 4 or 5 options you dislike the least. -Crossroads- (talk) 22:17, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Option 5 = Yes. (option added 5 September 2019 @ 23:44). Because it's not just "feminists" -- it's feminists and transgender advocates (which are not automatically feminists); thereby the definition should be "considered transphobic by transgender advocates" (which is what these "other feminists" are by virtue of same). (updated) Pyxis Solitary yak 01:28, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
The one I "dislike the least" is Option 1.
But all the options are skewed to cement a narrative that has been pre-determined. Self-identified feminists that criticize transgender advocacy are labeled TERFs, but those who disagree with them are not necessarily feminists. Transgender mysogynists are not feminists. The Degenderettes are not feminists. Pyxis Solitary yak 00:27, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
You're welcome to hold whatever opinion you want about who is and isn't a feminist, but this simply isn't supported by the sources. All of the sources above state that at least some other feminists call TERFs transphobic, and there are several other sources in the article which state the majority of feminists are not TERFs. (And I feel the need to point out, several of these sources are apparently pretty reluctant to call TERFs feminists. Several refer to them as "feminists" in scare quotes, or call them "ostensible" feminists. Not only is your position not supported by the sources, its reverse has significantly more support than yours does.) Loki (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
"this page described TERFs as 'feminists who espouse transphobic sentiments'"
"changed to 'feminists who espouse sentiments considered transphobic'"
"since become "feminists who espouse sentiments that other feminists consider transphobic'".
"Leave as is: 'feminists who espouse sentiments that other feminists consider transphobic'"
"Proposed ...: 'feminists who espouse sentiments that others consider transphobic'"
"List specific sources: 'feminists who have been described as transphobic by....'"
You may have created this survey, but you need to figure out what it's about. Pyxis Solitary yak 02:08, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Everyone else seems to be pretty clear on that? To be clear, I am not proposing that this article should say that TERFs aren't feminists, because there are enough sources that say they are plus the acronym literally contains the word "feminist". I'm just saying that position has some support in the sources whereas your position, that their opponents aren't feminists, has zero. Loki (talk) 16:41, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
If you're going to respond to a comment made by me you need to stop mischaracterizing what I actually stated, which is:
"Where is the evidence that those who consider the term transphobic are also feminists?"  and  "but those who disagree with them are not necessarily feminists".
English is my third language but in any language those statements do not equate as none of their opponents are feminists.
Option 1 is:  "feminists who espouse sentiments that other feminists consider transphobic". Option 1 assumes that all who oppose TERFs are feminists.
I suggest that you go find another editor to zero in on. Pyxis Solitary yak 23:06, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
It's not saying that (or at least, doesn't read that way to me). It appears to be specifying that the views are conbsidered feminist by other feminists because it's a term used primarily by feminists, was created by feminists, and characterizes a rift primarily in feminism - the feminist critics of the views are what's relevant to the term. --Equivamp - talk 23:35, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
or at least, doesn't read that way to me -- but that is how I read it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does (nor do I expect readers and editors who have witnessed the toxic wars involving trans-related articles, and who refrain from getting involved in them, to step into this discussion). Pyxis Solitary yak 01:10, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Do you have reason to believe that the group of readers and editors you've vaguely alluded to will all have the same (mis)reading of the sentence? If so, why? If not, I don't know what that has to do with what I said or why you said it to me. Also, if your main beef is that other feminists to you means all other feminists, and not that I'm incorrect in saying the term is used primarily by feminists, was created by feminists, and characterizes a rift primarily in feminism, then why is your proposed alternative to exclude mention of other feminists entirely? --Equivamp - talk 23:33, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
You can put away the Grand Inquisitor hat because I'm not going to play along with you. By the way, the term was not "created by feminists" -- it was shorthand created by one self-identified feminist Australian writer (who the F is Viv Smythe?) who didn't want to spell out what it meant over and over again in her blogposts, and the term caught on. Pyxis Solitary yak 01:11, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
The hostility is bizzarre and wholly unecessary. Please stop.
Created by one feminist or a dozen, it doesn't change the fact that "TERF" characterizes a dispute within feminism, and removing reference to it from the lead would be utterly detrimental to the page. --Equivamp - talk 02:16, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1.1, since the sources aren't just feminists but newspapers, etc. Cite the sources, but don't stack up a big list of them in the main text. Best done as a single footnote, itself laying out the sources one by one. This is a good article for the two-section referencing style, with footnotes to short cites that then refer to full bibliographic citations in the section below that.  — AReaderOutThatawayt/c 17:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

    PS: I agree that "some" would be better than "others".  — AReaderOutThatawayt/c 23:45, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Option 1.1, although I'd prefer the wording that "some consider" rather than "others consider." The term "transphobic" is so loaded that it's hard to employ that against people without running afoul of WP:NPOV or WP:BLP. May His Shadow Fall Upon You Talk 18:11, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Doesn't the reasoning "so loaded that it's hard to employ against people running afoul of NPOV", also apply to trms like anti-semitic, racist homophobic?Oldperson (talk) 18:37, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Potentially, but that's not at issue in this article. May His Shadow Fall Upon You Talk 18:47, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Definitely. That's why WP:LABEL tells us to avoid using those terms and, when we must, the manner in which we can use them while still maintaining NPOV. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:29, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    But the question of "some" vs "many"/"others" is a different issue. The term "TERF" itself is already considered pejorative by the people its applied to, so why is it a problem to say that the people who use the term believe that it indicates transphobia? If you look at the entry for homophobia it doesn't say "some people consider homophobes to be prejudiced against gay people". Nblund talk 19:40, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    People can't have it both ways though. If TERF is derogatory like transphobe or homophobe, than it's not a neutral descriptor and can't e.g. be used as a category for BLPs. -Crossroads- (talk) 22:15, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    I don't think that's necessarily the case. We have a categories for white supremacists, criminals, and communists, after all. Nblund talk 17:06, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
    Nblund: These terms are quite different: 1) White supremacism is a well-established term in academia, with no controversy when applied to groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, 2) criminal is a legal category and 3) communism is the name of an ideology and movement and it was created and still used by communists themselves, we categorize members of communist parties and self-declared communists as such with no controversy. In some countries and historic periods the term "communist" have been used as a slur even to non-communists and Wikipedia will not categorize someone as a communist in that case. --MarioGom (talk) 08:47, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
    Continues here. MarioGom (talk) 14:23, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • No strong objections to Option 4, Option 3, or Option 2. I object to the other options because they are too equivocal: they imply that a "trans-exclusionary" person who is in "opposition to transgender rights" might-or-might-not-be transphobic. Which is a bit like saying saying that an egg salad might-or-might-not contain eggs.
I'll throw in a new proposal as well: the term is applied to a minority of radical feminists who espouse sentiments such as opposition to transgender rights [etc]. USA Today defines the term as "referring to feminists who are transphobic."
(Incidentally, I disagree with the notion that the USA Today piece is not in the paper's own voice. That's just some clever tap-dancing to try and discredit a reliable source. The piece is listed in the News section, not Opinion, and it is completely unequivocal. It doesn't say "here are what some feminists believe" or anything like that.) WanderingWanda (talk) 02:57, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3, as the rest of the lead makes it perfectly clear where TERFs stand on transgender issues. However, I would also propose a Option 3.1: remove mention of transphobia from the first paragraph but add it to the second which already describes criticism from feminists and academics …have rejected this view and describe it as transphobic. Option 4 is acceptable due to the strength of sourcing. 1 and 2 are also acceptable, but less preferred because 1 is clunkily worded and 2 is a bit too much of a laundry list. 1.1 replaces 1’s style problem with weasel wording and is not a preferable solution. 5 is misleading as a description of the chorus of sources that have described TERFs as transphobic. signed, Rosguill talk 10:15, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 5 preferred, while Option 1.1 and Option 4 acceptable, but not ideal. Reason being first and foremost that regarding trans-exclusionary individuals often control the discussion around them. It would be a pitfall that such individuals could have veto power in deciding their own label attributions in this way. Critical theory dictates minorities are the determiners of prejudice against their own groups, not those in power. Gwenhope (talk) 09:33, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • option 2, option 5, option 1.1 is my order of preference. If it hasn't been said with option 2, it might be clearer to say 'journalist xyz in USA Today'... because a lot of these are op-eds.Fred (talk)
  • Oppose options 1, 2, 4, see my comment in the threaded discussion, since TERF is a young term still subject to controversy, and such controversy spills on some mainstream venues too. Option 3 may make sense for the beginning of the lede, but of course it makes sense to discuss the topic later. Not so convinced about Option 5. --MarioGom (talk) 18:50, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
    Quoting Gwenhope above who best describes the situation.

    "Option 5 preferred, while Option 1.1 and Option 4 acceptable, but not ideal. Reason being first and foremost that regarding trans-exclusionary individuals often control the discussion around them. It would be a pitfall that such individuals could have veto power in deciding their own label attributions in this way. Critical theory dictates minorities are the determiners of prejudice against their own groups, not those in power

    Oldperson (talk) 19:39, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Oldperson: are you replying to MarioGom or voting? Either way this formatting is odd. May I fix? Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 20:04, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
    Ah, with all the indentation I took this to be a reply but I can see how it might be a !vote. I have fixed it as a reply, feel free to fix as a !vote of course if it turns out that was the intent. Do keep in mind MOS:LISTGAP which may not allow all desired formatting and indentation levels. —DIYeditor (talk) 20:15, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1 is my top choice for the lede and I think something like option 2 for the body (I'm not wedded to the specific examples, but listing examples of who considers these views transphobic seems pretty important). I don't mind option 1.1 too much, but it feels a bit weasely and it seems important that the ones who consider these views to be transphobic are other feminists, as they have a bit more authority than vague "others". Shoot, I wouldn't even mind a whole paragraph detailing specific examples of authoritative or relevant sources and their characterization of TERF views. I don't like any of the other options, though option 5 is the absolute worst IMHO. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 03:18, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3.1 is the only option I consider acceptable. The sources identified in the RfC statement (and I have no exposure to this term except those sources) are mixed, but the most consistent are those that say the term is self-defining, and I note that it is "trans-exclusionary", not "trans-opposed". While it may be transphobic to be a TERF, and transphobia may cause one to be a TERF, I believe the term is fundamentally just about excluding trans people from one's advocacy. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:11, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1.1 tweak "...feminists who espouse sentiments that some consider (or a number consider) transphobic". This seems to address all the issues. The opinion that TERFs are transphobic is not limited to feminists and activists, and it does not imply "all others" consider them transphobic. Kolya Butternut (talk) 00:54, 24 September 2019 (UTC)Kolya Butternut (talk) 19:06, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
I am happy with that tweak. It seems appropriate to deal with the concerns that "others" is too broad. The problem is that it seems WP:WEASEL but limiting it to just feminists or activists is too narrow. We are talking generally about how people use a term, so that is going to be general by necessity. This tweak by Kolya Butternut is a good compromise/improvement.--Darryl Kerrigan (talk) 20:52, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 4. The term's meaning is that the views in question are transphobic - no one disagrees that to call someone a TERF is to call their views transphobic. People disagree over when and whether to use the term, not over whether it refers to transphobic beliefs. It is therefore meaningless, confusing weasel-wording to say that TERF means that "some consider" the views transphobic - this construction implies that there is a dispute over whether the word TERF refers to transphobic beliefs or not, which isn't true. What people are trying to imply is that there is dispute over whether the people referred to as TERFs hold transphobic views, but that's a dispute over whether the term applies to them or whether it should be used at all, not about what it means. All of the proposed wordings except 4 imply that there is a dispute over the meaning of the word TERF, which isn't the case. It would be like saying that racism refers to "views that some people believe are about the superiority of one race over another" - something that sounds cautious on paper (because people often dispute accusations of racism) but which is meaningless when you think about it. Of course people dispute whether someone who is labeled a TERF is actually transphobic, but that is a dispute over whether the label applies and not (as every option here except 4 implies) what the label means. Beyond that, strong oppose to option 5; the attribution to vaguely-defined 'transgender advocates' is conspiratorial and misleading in tone given that the term's meaning and use has wide mainstream acceptance (as the second paragraph makes clear.) --Aquillion (talk) 13:04, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
    That sounds very logical, but it doesn't quite ring true. The meaning of the term is a specific class of views. These views are considered transphobic by many who use the term, but others (including participants in this talk page) challenge whether these views are transphobic. Considering that, as I've said before, there are ways of being transphobic without being a TERF (so there's not quite a 1-to-1 relationship), the comparison shouldn't be between racist and TERF, but racist and transphobic (for which WP:LABEL prompts us to use in-text attribution). The better comparison would be between alt-right and TERF, where some of the views of the alt-right movement are commonly considered to be racist, but avoiding value-laden language means we don't actually call the alt-right racist. Even cases where the racism isn't under dispute, such as for the KKK, we still want to avoid value-laden language, per WP:LABEL. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:34, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 4 preferred; then 3.1, or 1, in that order. Acceptable: 2. Unacceptable: 1.1 ("others" sounds like everybody else); 3 (a whitewash); 5 (POV). Mathglot (talk) 11:12, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
What about "a number of others"? Kolya Butternut (talk) 12:34, 28 September 2019 (UTC)\
  • Option 2 Not 1 because it is not just feminists but also not all other feminists or as 1.1 puts it all others in general. Not 3 because transphobia needs to be mentioned. Not 4 because it is using wikivoice and the sourcing is not strong enough to support that usage. Not 5 because like 1 it is not just trans advocates. I guess that leaves 2 which is alright, but I would prefer to split it into two or more sentences. Something along the lines of an introductory sentance of feminists who have been described as transphobic and then followed by some selected sources expanding on this description taking into account WP:Due. Option 1.1 with the tweaks mentioned by May His Shadow Fall Upon You or Kolya Butternut would work if we want to keep it short. AIRcorn (talk) 06:00, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think every one of the numbered options has some pros and cons. What we currently have (Option 1) isn't horrible and it gets at the significant fact that TERF comes into being as a word in intra-feminism disputes. Giving the word 'transphobia' early on in some way is reasonable since in practice TERF is used a lot as a synonym for 'transphobe'. The sentence isn't exactly elegant but I don't think we have any proposal on the table that is clearly superior. Still, we shouldn't set anything in stone. I have faith that we can eventually come up with something that's better even if we haven't thought of it yet :) Let's keep our eyes on what the best and most up-to-date sources say and think about how we can best get the most important facts across to our readers as early as possible in the article. Haukur (talk) 20:10, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Threaded Discussion[edit]

My argument for my position has been made in detail above, but briefly: we ought to say the strongest thing the sources support, and the thing they support is quite strong. Our list of sources includes USAToday, the Independent, and the Daily Dot all directly calling TERFs "transphobic" in their news voice (or in other words, the article directly calling TERFs "transphobic" got through editorial oversight in all three cases). Describing this as merely "other feminists" is hugely reductive to the point of being very misleading. Loki (talk) 03:55, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Please provide the exact quote from these three publications where they call TERFs transphobic in news voice. Also, as I have pointed out, this is a cherry-picking of RS. "Other feminists" reads to me as plenty broad, while not making claims that are not directly supported. Thanks for making sure I saw the RfC, but I am watching the page. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:51, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
USAToday: TERF: The acronym for "trans exclusionary radical feminists," referring to feminists who are transphobic., on a page whose URL starts with
Indy100: [TERF] is a word leaden with meaning, and is a synonym for transphobia. The acronym refers to people who preach hate and exclusion against transgender women in the name of feminism., on a page whose URL starts with
Daily Dot: I'll give you that this one is less clear: their article about TERFs starts with a disclaimer that it addresses transphobic ideas, but in the actual body only says the word "transphobic" when it's attributed to their opponents. Regardless, the URL starts with, which is definitely one of the Daily Dot's categories for articles. Loki (talk) 00:25, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
USA Today's article is a feminist glossary, so it is not in news voice. At most, you just have Indy100 so far in terms of news organizations. And as I have pointed out before, many other RS including news organizations do not agree. -Crossroads- (talk) 22:37, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
USA Today's article is a feminist glossary, but it's in their article space and is written by a journalist. I agree some other news organizations avoid the term but in my view the weight of the existing sources is still enough to support something stronger than simply "other feminists consider". Loki (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Question (especially for User:DanielRigal and User:Equivamp): There seems to be a decent amount of split support between options 1 and 4. Previously, I tried out the wording feminists who espouse sentiments that are widely considered transphobic but the talk page rejected it. It seems, however, like it might be a popular option in this RfC, so, would people be in favor of me adding it as an option? Loki (talk) 00:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

other feminists is better than others, to me. More specific and relevant. --Equivamp - talk 13:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Whether or not I support it as an option I think it is a legitimate option to discuss. To me it falls into the "acceptable" category although I do not see it as preferable to option 1 (due to its greater vagueness, which could leave the door open to ongoing attempts to "clarify" it in line with people's personal views) and I still favour the directness and clarity of Option 4. --DanielRigal (talk) 20:14, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Could you explain how Option 4 is allowed under WP:WIKIVOICE and WP:LABEL, as highlighted above? -Crossroads- (talk) 22:29, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
As I have said above, I see "trans exclusionary" and "transphobic" as synonyms as a simple matter of language but also that we have sufficient references to cover it for anybody who doesn't agree with me on that. We don't have a problem with the White supremacy article describing it as "racist" in the opening sentence and I fail to see any similar problem here. I fear that the other options can come across as a bit weaselly to varying degrees. --DanielRigal (talk) 22:49, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm having quite a bit of trouble parsing what I see "trans exclusionary" and "transphobic" as synonyms as a simple matter of language could possibly even mean. Can you please clarify this for us? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 23:25, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The assertion as I read it is that "trans-exclusionary" means "transphobic" (or at least, is basically equivalent in the same way a "white supremacist" is automatically a "racist".) Loki (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I can confirm that this was indeed what I was saying. I wasn't aware that I said it in an ambiguous way but I am glad to have it cleared up so that everybody understands. --DanielRigal (talk) 19:28, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I still don't understand "as a simple matter of language" part. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:46, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Don't worry about it. So long as you understand the word "synonym" then you can understand my point pretty well by just ignoring that bit. --DanielRigal (talk) 21:35, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I see. Well, then, I'd have to disagree that the two are synonyms. There are other ways of being transphobic than being trans-exclusionary, even if that's the main one. Even if they were synonyms, different words with the same denotation can have different connotations. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 22:21, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
OK, so "trans exclusive" is a more specific subset of the more general class of being transphobic and it is an oversimplification for me to call it a synonym? Actually, yes, I can accept that idea. As you say, there definitely are transphobes who are not TERFs, or even pretend to be. This coincides quite nicely with the parallel case of white nationalism and racism, where white nationalism is a specific subset of racism but not all racism is white nationalism. This view still supports my core assertion that "trans exclusive" is, by definition, transphobic and hence that Option 4 provides the simplest correct statement of the matter. It just prevents it working in the other direction to support an incorrect claim that all transphobes are TERFs, but that was never part of my argument, so no problems there. Glad to have got this clarified. --DanielRigal (talk) 23:08, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
The analogy with white supremacism doesn't work for two reasons. Firstly because whites are the dominant group, the group that holds power, which neither women nor feminists are. Secondly, racial supremacist organisations are not simply arguing that the interests of their racial group are distinct from others (ie they are not simply focusing on their own group and thus 'excluding' the interests of others). Racial supremacists are claiming be better than, and thus to have the right to rule over other groups. An organisation that existed solely to protect, to celebrate and advance the interests of Jews politically or culturally, would probably not be considered racist simply because it excluded Roma, another minority! Of course TERFs can be transphobic - just as my hypothetical Jews might be racist, but you are arguing that it is inherently transphobic to be more, or even solely, concerned with the interests of non-trans women or to think that the interests of trans and non-trans women sometimes conflict. Pincrete (talk) 07:27, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

For all the "Option 1.1" voters: we don't have the sources that, besides feminists, the people labeled TERFs are typically considered transphobic. It's mainly just feminists and trans activists (which pretty much all identify as feminists). Just stating "others" is far too vague and implies that everyone besides accused TERFs thinks they are transphobic, which is false. -Crossroads- (talk) 22:11, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

  • It seems like WP:LABEL pretty clearly governs this type of situation. As a term, transphobic is "best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution." So if we include it, it requires in-text attribution to someone. I'd caution against text that makes it seem like TERFs are the only people who think that TERFs are not transphobic. Attribution to the effect of "everyone in the world thinks that XYZ people are bad, except for XYZ people" defeats the purpose of WP:LABEL. May His Shadow Fall Upon You Talk 22:32, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
It's my opinion that "everyone in the world thinks that XYZ people are bad, except for XYZ people" is totally acceptable in a case where it's possible to source that everyone or nearly everyone who is not XYZ thinks XYZ people are bad. Regardless, that's not the situation we have here: we instead have the much more frustrating situation where we can definitely source that many/most of the people who have written about TERFs but are not themselves TERFs think TERFs are transphobic, but we can't source that any particular number of people does. Loki (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Except that it is not the case that many/most of the people who have written about TERFs but are not themselves TERFs think TERFs are transphobic. See The Economist, these seven women philosophers, the New Statesman, Inside Higher Ed, and Slate, just for starters. Your statement is inaccurate and you should revise it. -Crossroads- (talk) 17:23, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Several of the people you linked describe themselves as "gender critical", including several of the anti-trans Economist writers and the philosophers on the open letter. (So, for example, here's a Medium piece written by Kathleen Stock, who wrote some of the pieces in the Economist, and several of the philosophers in the open letter in which they describe themselves as "gender critical and radical feminist academic philosophers".) Or in other words, I think you've mostly just given even more evidence of what I said. Loki (talk) 23:59, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Not at all. If we set the philosophers to the side, you still have Slate, Inside Higher Ed, New Statesman, and, yes, The Economist, which said in its own voice that TERF is a slur and is used to silence debate. And that is without looking for new sources. So it is still false that many/most of the people who have written about TERFs but are not themselves TERFs think TERFs are transphobic. -Crossroads- (talk) 05:47, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
But noen of those disagree that to use the term TERF is to call someone transphobic, which is what the contested sentence says. Those sources disagree about whether TERF applies to the people it's used to refer to or over whether the word is useful at all, not over whether someone who uses it is calling the person they apply to transphobic. Otherwise, if we go by your logic and your preferred version, you are saying that only some people think that the term TERF is an accusation of transphobia, which means that TERF itself would not be a WP:LABEL (because the implication of your preferred version is that there are people who do not think that TERF is an accusation of transphobia and, instead, think that it is a neutral label.) Surely that isn't your position? It feels like you are taking sources that disagree with the use of the word TERF and trying to use them to argue that TERF does not mean anything insulting (ie. only some people think it's an accusation of transphobia), which is the opposite of what those sources say. --Aquillion (talk) 13:12, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

TERF's in their own words, from what I have read so far, espouse a belief, about transgendered women (i.e. male to female)that is hurtful and harmful to some.Some being those who might care about the opinions of TERF's, or maybe some who might seek admiittance to womyn only events like the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. But the TERF ideology/sentiment bleeds over to female to male transgendered. If TERF's reject transwomyn, do they then accept transmen? Can a transman, having personally experienced womanhood, not be a feminist in the eye of a TERF, since they believe that men can't be feminists? Perhaps this isn't the place, since WP is all about(supposedly) a NPOV and a voice, but sometimes the situation demands inquisition, exposition, questioning and nuance to get at the heart of these problematic terms, and TERF is only one such in WP and the world. Personally I object to words ending in phobic, unless they refer to conditions that involve real fear,like agoraphobic, arachnaphobic because not all bias and prejudice stems from fear, but I also understand that the limits of our vocabulary sources resulted in the invention of such terms to convey social disapproval of a persons actions, and inputed or derived beliefs. Oldperson (talk) 07:10, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

@Oldperson: The misunderstanding of some words ending in -phobic is common; but the fact is, words mean what they mean, that is to say, they mean what people use them to mean. Decomposing them into their constituent parts in an attempt to force them into what they ought to mean, simply isn't a valid way to look at meaning. You are right about arachnophobia and agoraphobia; they are specific phobias or anxiety disorders classified in the ICD-10 (here).
The other sense of -phobia as hatred, as in xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and the like, are not classified in the ICD (or DSM) afaik. Immigrants, and gay or transgender people, have a lot more legitimate reasons to fear those folks, than the other way round. You are also right that they are not "phobias" in the way that the ICD 10 disorders are, but the words exist all the same, and they mean what they mean, whether we object, or not. But from your "I also understand..." comment, it sounds like you know all this already; and you're just kind of grousing about it. Sort of like, you know—an old person. Face-wink.svg. Mathglot (talk) 07:37, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Just wanted to put this here: as of literally today, Vox has an article out that calls TERFs/gender critical feminists "transphobic". (It's also a really comprehensive source for both this article and feminist views on transgender topics, so, good job Vox.) Loki (talk) 16:37, 5 September 2019 (UTC) LokiTheLiar

Great article. Thanks.Oldperson (talk) 17:01, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Interesting article but "This unholy alliance" - does that sound like a factual description? It reads as an opinion piece by a trans advocate rather than someone summarizing scholarly literature. —DIYeditor (talk) 20:11, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I think it's basically subject to the same caveat we have for Vox over at WP:RSP: Vox is considered generally reliable. It is often considered a partisan source, particularly regarding American politics. It's reasonably clear that the author of the article did journalistic due diligence including contacting WoLF for a statement. It's also reasonably clear that the author is taking a side in this dispute. That being said, being WP:BIASED does not mean we can't use a source, especially a source that's otherwise quite comprehensive. Loki (talk) 20:29, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Someone else read the same Vox article and wrote about it and the writer. Pyxis Solitary yak 08:15, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

The survey question states that User:Darryl Kerrigan proposed Option 1.1:  "feminists who espouse sentiments that others consider transphobic."
I proposed another option in my response to this survey (4 September 2019):  feminists who espouse sentiments considered transphobic by transgender advocates.
As with Kerrigan's option, there's no reason this description cannot be proposed as Option 1.2 or Option 5. Pyxis Solitary yak 23:24, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

I added that because other people supported it without me adding it. That being said, if you really wanna I can add an option 5. Loki (talk) 23:43, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
As I said: there's no reason this description cannot be proposed as Option 1.2 or Option 5. So ... yes. Pyxis Solitary yak 01:15, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for adding Option 5. You forgot to indicate after the original timestamp that the RfC was modified on 23:44, 5 September 2019 (WP:REDACT, WP:RFCQ). Pyxis Solitary yak 04:17, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I have just realized that my recent edit ([1]) touched a section that was subject to this RFC. If someone thinks it affects the course of the RFC, feel free to revert it. --MarioGom (talk) 16:32, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Already reverted. The problem I see with the current version is that it implies that the considering TERF as a slur is completely fringe, but it is a matter of wide debate even in some mainstream media. --MarioGom (talk) 17:08, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
MarioGom, it might be good to vote in the survey. Otherwise your opinion here will likely be overlooked at closing. -Crossroads- (talk) 13:16, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

What about the tweak to Option 1.1: "feminists who espouse sentiments that some consider transphobic" mentioned by User:May His Shadow Fall Upon You? Kolya Butternut (talk) 23:48, 21 September 2019 (UTC)Kolya Butternut (talk) 20:39, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

If other [X] might imply all of group [X], then some is strongly implying a minority. The most neutral phrasing in regards to numbers would be a number of [X]. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 16:05, 24 September 2019 (UTC)


In the discussions so far, I'm surprised that the term transmisogyny hasn't come up. Because in fact, when the term transphobia is used as a way to characterize the attitude of some radical feminists (whether rightly, or wrongly), what is almost always meant here, is transmisogyny instead. Sometimes the conflation in terms is intentional, and done by some exclusionary radical feminists who are transmisogynist, precisely in order to point out how they are not transphobic: namely, they accept trans men in their spaces, ergo, not transphobic. (I don't have a source or diff at hand, but this is well attested, and I will get links if needed.) But this is sophistry. This "not transphobic" argument is completely bogus and disingenuous on their part, but can only be properly understood in analyzing what they mean when they say "not transphobic". (Spoiler: they mean, "not always transphobic, because I don't exclude trans men".)

The confusion arises, because in the original coinage of the term, Viv created "trans-exclusionary radical feminists". What this really meant, was "trans women exclusionary" but her version sounded better and was shorter, and when she coined it, there was no reason in the world to choose a longer name that no one expected would gain somewhat wide currency, and that was even more of a jawbreaker. This came up primarily in connection with Michfest, Camp Trans, and all that; everybody knew what was meant. Radical feminists, especially radical lesbian feminists, may not be too happy with trans men all the time ("traitors", and all, dontcha know...), but to many of them, possibly most, trans men are womyn-born-<womyn-or-something>s, so somewhat or wholly acceptable in radical lesbian spaces (at least, the gynephilic trans men). After all, if you're essentialist, once a womon-born-womon, always a womon-born-womon. If one hews to a very strict definition of "transphobic", then if someone isn't phobic to 50% of a category (the half of transgender individuals who are trans men), then one has a tough time making a general "transphobic" label stick. At least, that's their hope. Their claim is, I'm not transmisandrist, ergo, I'm not transphobic. It's their, Get-Out-Of-Transphobia-Jail-Free card.

In my opinion, this conflation of terms and differing interpretations of the same term, are at the root of some (not all) of the disagreements above, and hasn't been factored in at all. The argument of those who reject the term transphobia for their beliefs or behavior, fails wrt transmisogyny, imho; at least in most cases. Whether or not it fails in every case, is at the heart of some of the other disagreements above; but that's a separate issue. Mathglot (talk) 23:08, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm not 100% clear on the specific differences of the terminology but I think this may be another one of those subset thingies. If transmisogyny is a specific rejection of trans women, and transphobia is a general rejection of all trans people, then transmisogyny would be a subset of transphobia. After all, to go back to the parallels with racism, we call somebody racist if they discriminate against or denigrate any ethnic group(s). They don't have to hold a grudge against all, or even a majority of, ethnic groups other than their own to qualify. There is no 50% threshold here. Take the example of an anti-Semite who is not obviously racist against black or Asian people. Such a person is seemingly not racist against the vast majority of the non-white population but would anybody seriously argue that they are not a racist? I doubt it. A racist is anybody who does any racism and a transphobe is anybody who does any transphobia. This doesn't seem to steer us away from using the word "transphobic" at all. More to the point that is the word the references seem to use.
Obviously, the differences in the TERF positions on trans men and trans women can, and should, be covered in the body of the article and if RS sources call some of it transmisogyny then we should follow the sources on that. (My personal view, as a cis man with no direct experience of this, is that the trans men have it at least as bad as the trans women under the TERF position, in theory although not in practice. Certainly, I think I'd rather be excluded from a clique than be invited in to it just so that that I could be misgendered, erased and generally abused.) --DanielRigal (talk) 00:35, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Daniel, pretty much all of your assumptions are on the mark, as is your analogy to racism. The point is, that there is a fake argument of "non-transphobic" being used by some, and as you point out, someone who is racist against one group, "is racist"; full stop. Your conclusion that it doesn't steer us away from "transphobic" if that's what the sources say, is also correct (that was the bit I left to "a separate issue"). The main point, was to call out the phony-baloney, "I'm not transphobic" argument, and where it came from, and what their reasoning is. This was an attempt to elucidate that. Perhaps it's too fine a point. Mathglot (talk) 01:45, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Okay. Then what does misogyny by trans women fall under? Because trans women who advocate violence against women they consider TERFs (such as the Degenderettes, for example) is identical to the misogyny of males who inflict or want to inflict violence towards women. Pyxis Solitary yak 01:43, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@Pyxis Solitary:, that would be a type of self-hatred, but if a trans woman discriminated against or hated women as a class, then that would simply be misogyny, and if the discrimination was against trans women specifically, then they would be transphobic. I don't think there's a term for someone who discriminates against women they consider Terfs, or if there is, I haven't heard it. MisoTerfist? Mathglot (talk) 01:49, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
To my knowledge, "TERFs" have not proposed violence against trans women or made death threats against them. The same cannot be said of all of those who disagree with them. There's obviously a new term awaiting creation for trans women who hate trans-exclusionary radical feminists to the point of brutality. Pyxis Solitary yak 02:05, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Ah, this is the "TRA" conspiracy theory is it not? That isn't a thing and it isn't going in the article for that reason. --DanielRigal (talk) 03:07, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
What is "the "TRA" conspiracy theory"? Pyxis Solitary yak 06:55, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
It is a bit off-topic to dig into in any detail here, but basically it is the claim (either advanced sincerely or otherwise) that there exists a "large and well funded trans lobby" which exercises great power in nefarious ways for nefarious purposes. When those purposes are specified they tend to be framed in the terms of a "they are corrupting our youth" narrative. The basis of the alleged "power" is never explained clearly but a vague conspiracy is either claimed or alluded to. This seeks to blame many of the usual targets of far-right conspiracy jibber-jabber, normally dressing it up to sound a bit less obviously far-right to a more progressive audience. This conspiracy theory exists in an attempt to flip the narrative and enable the oppressor to pretend (and maybe even convince themselves) that they are the oppressed and to blame the real victims for that claimed (and maybe even perceived) oppression while ignoring/erasing their real status as victims. If that sounds directly parallel to the Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy theory of the Nazis, and the nonsense of anybody who bangs on about the "homosexual agenda", then you get the general shape of the idea and what it is intended to achieve.
Bringing it back on topic for Wikipedia, this explains why attributing anything to a monolith of "trans rights activists" without being clear about (and providing references for) who we are talking about is unacceptable. Whether intentional or not, doing so has the subtle effect of introducing the language of this baseless conspiracy theory into Wikipedia and has the effect of lending it credibility. Our article on the Nazi Party does not say that "they struggled against the power of the Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy" because there never was any such thing and we don't give credence to such propaganda. Similarly we can't throw the phrase "trans rights activists" around here in a general/monolithic sense and certainly not simply to mean anybody who opposes transphobia.
More generally, we need to take a little care with the word "activist" in any context, on any article, as it can be weaponised in bad faith against anybody who disagrees with something whether they are actually an activist or not. --DanielRigal (talk) 12:05, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
There may not be "a "large and well funded trans lobby"" ... but there are trans activists on the other side of the seesaw. Pyxis Solitary yak 08:02, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Pyxis solitary: trans-exclusionary feminists do not have to advocate violence against trans people, as they have their cultural conservative allies who would not hesitate to do that for them. Also, your equation of some trans women ("Degenderettes") allegedly advocating violence against some cis women ("TERFs") as "identical to" the misogyny of male-gendered people against women seems both inaccurate and deliberately offensive.
A more accurate parallel would be women of one racial or cultural group who have advocated violence against women of another cultural group whose gendered norms they do not accept or respect (such as mainstream western women advocating violence against Hijabi women, for example: the category is discouragingly easy to populate. Newimpartial (talk) 13:06, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
"trans-exclusionary feminists do not have to advocate violence against trans people, as they have their cultural conservative who would not hesitate to do that for them". What conservatives latch onto and what they may or may not do is irrelevant. The only relevant fact here is whether those being tagged as "trans-exclusionary radical feminists/TERFs" espouse/promote/support violence against transgender women. Pyxis Solitary yak 08:02, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
However, that definition of "relevance" does not include your comment here that equated trans activist violence against TERFs with misogynist violence against women. If you agree that your earlier comment is irrelevant, then we are all good. :) Newimpartial (talk) 18:32, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Feminists do not advocate violence against women, even trans women. Many anti-TERFs advocate violence against TERFs. So as much as you would like to compare apples with oranges, the fact remains: trans-exclusionary "feminists" do not preach violence against trans people. And adding conservatives into the mix remains irrelevant. Pyxis Solitary yak 23:45, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Utter nonsense, provide proof of both of your assertions, Here is an article that refutes your claim. TERFS beat Radfem for protecting transwoman against their assult (talk) 23:59, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Um. Are you aware that the term "TERF" did not exist in the 1970s? Cristan Williams uses the term TERF (of course) and the 1973 WCLC Robin-Tyler-to-the-rescue story is mirrored numerous times on the web. The Gorgons was a Seattle lesbian separatist collective (relocated to Berkeley in 1978), and if it's true that they made threats of violence against Sandy Stone it was the antithesis of feminism. Pyxis Solitary yak 05:06, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Despite the attempts on the part of editors to sound professional and neutral. There is no neutral ground on subjects such as transgender, TERF, racism, religion, politics. (I can make an exception, in some isnstances for politics though). An editors bias, pro or con,is evident from their comments. A person is either accepting or rejecting. Those that accept are philic (coining a word?), those that reject are, for the lack of a better word, phobic. The phobics are obviously very adept at using the policies and guidance of WP to present a persona/position that is academic or neutral. But no one is fooled. The emperor is naked is a quite appropriate analogy, and so is a stuck pig squealsOldperson (talk) 11:06, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

It is difficult but not impossible to write objectively about something that one has strong opinions on. Pretty much any article on politics or religion is going to hit issues like this. It is not easy, but so long as everybody participates in good faith, trying to be as objective as they can while recognising that it is impossible to be truly objective, then we can write good, neutral articles together.
One specific difficulty we have on this article is that TERF is two different things which look pretty much the same from a distance. It is a view emerging from radical feminism that a small minority of feminists genuinely subscribe to. It is also a pose co-opted and insincerely adopted by the far-right as tool to try to split the LGBTQ community and sow discord among the people they regard as "degenerate", which is pretty much everybody except themselves. Our best approach is to be as objective as we can, to assume good faith if somebody disagrees with us, to be willing to rethink when we genuinely make a mistake, but also to be on the look out for bad faith attempts to deliberately derail our efforts. --DanielRigal (talk) 13:53, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
^^^This. Mathglot (talk) 17:43, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Many posts here supporting the terf position lack understanding of a key factor. That is the separation of violence and prejudice. A lot of violence does originate from prejudice, but it takes an extra step to translate that to violence, whether direct or structural/systemic. The fact remains that they seem to lack the understanding of the root of prejudice. They argue from the position that trans women inherently have prejudice toward cis women. Trans individuals do dislike anti-trans people and groups thereof (such as terfs). The reason they dislike them isn't because of prejudice.

If a trans woman detests a group that expresses transmisogyny, this is not because of the demographics of that group. She don't hate the prejudicial group inherently, she hates being mistreated for her demographic, which the prejudicial group does. Most groups (such as terfs) that express prejudice develop it from some kind of visceral disgust and/or philosophical incompatibility. This can be seen in the root of many prejudicial categories - sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, etc.

However they are arguing from the starting position that equivocates anyone assigned male, whether a cis man or a trans woman. This position inherently hurts their own arguments, because it specifically equates the prejudicial sexism of cis men (a common misogynistic basis) to the reactive disdain of trans women (not based in misogyny). Furthermore, this position ignores that the transmisogynist inherently endorses structural violence against trans women using the exact same arguments and language that the cis male misogynists and white supremacists have used to attempt to rationalize their sexism and racism for centuries.Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 12:18, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

This isn't a WP:FORUM to discuss the topic of transsexualism, or your rather convoluted theories of violence and prejudice. I would say that you have made a false equivalency between affirming that women are cis women (or affirming/validating womanhood) and negating the validity of minority groups (racism) or women (misogyny), they are not precisely analogous situations. A more analogous situation would be denying that Rachel Dolezal is black. Each topic needs to be treated in light of WP:LABEL on its own and in context. If there are an overwhelming number of scholarly sources that label trans-exclusionism as transphobic (or "hateful" as the article read at one point) that is fine, let's see the citations. —DIYeditor (talk) 12:49, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
@Gwenhope: DIYeditor chastises Gwenhope, telling her that this is not a forum to discuss the topic of transsexualism and then goes on to do exactly that, espousing their own views.Oldperson (talk) 14:43, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
@DIYeditor: WP:FORUM, for example specifically says that articles aren't forums, but talk pages (such as this) are discussion forums if relevant to the article they stem from. Also in light of WP:LABEL, wording was carefully-chosen to avoid just saying "transphobe!" Regardless, I agree with @Oldperson: that the points expressed seem self-contradictory. WP:WEIGHT would say we don't give undue weight to minority views, like those this article categorizes. Given the official positions of many major medical organizations regarding trans individuals, thus the terf position is likely WP:FRINGE. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 18:34, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Also, I don't know what DIYeditor actually meant by their Rachel Dolezal reference, but if it represents a comparison between transgender and "transracial" identities it is not only a red herring but probably a violation of GENDERID as well. Newimpartial (talk) 18:43, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • MarioGom (replying here for formatting): Klan members (and white supremacists in general) very rarely describe themselves as "white supremacists". They generally prefer "white nationalist", "race realist" or some other euphemism. "Dictator" probably falls in to a similar camp. I agree that they aren't direct analogues, but having negative connotations is not reason for exclusion. Nblund talk 14:00, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Nblund It is not a reason for exclusion, I agree. My point is that, while the three examples fall into quite different categories, they are well-established in reliable sources for a long time and that allows us to apply some verifiability and neutrality criteria. --MarioGom (talk) 14:21, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Feminist Current / Meghan Murphy in opposing views[edit]

Meghan Murphy from Feminist Current could be covered explicitly in the opposing views section. She is very prolific in the topic[1] and that was covered/cited in opinion pieces[2] and news pieces.[3] What do you think? --MarioGom (talk) 17:04, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

MarioGom Oh you asked about Megahn Murphy. I think that she has plenty of coverage already, in fact you might say that this whole TERF article is about her movement. Therefore we don't need any discussion about her and her opinions.Oldperson (talk) 18:01, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
"you might say that this whole TERF article is about her movement. Therefore we don't need any discussion about her and her opinions." Does that make sense to you? —DIYeditor (talk) 05:39, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah that is one of the moste ridiculous reasons not to include someones opinion in an article that I have ever read. AIRcorn (talk) 06:05, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
  • My opinion: Only if she replaces one of the existing people in the opposition section. Her views on the subject aren't substantially different than anyone already there, and I feel sections like that frequently become bloated by people who add every single op-ed or piece of commentary they can find to try and reinforce an argument through repetition or by dropping in snappy quotes. That's not the purpose of that sort of section - our goal is to document the broad lines of opinion, not to exhaustively cover every opinion anyone has. So if we include her, it would have to be by finding someone less-notable who is currently being cited for a similar opinion, and replacing them. (Which is not hard - many of the people quoted there right now are extremely obscure and probably WP:UNDUE already.) --Aquillion (talk) 16:34, 26 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Murphy, Meghan (21 September 2017). "'TERF' isn't just a slur, it's hate speech". Feminist Current. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  2. ^ Bindel, Julie (9 October 2015). "No platform: my exclusion proves this is an anti-feminist crusade". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  3. ^ Compton, Julie (2019-01-14). "'Pro-lesbian' or 'trans-exclusionary'? Old animosities boil into public view". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-03-19.

Lead section[edit]

I have partially reverted Gwenhope's contribution (which reverted my edits) by adding a citation back to the lead section. Lmatt (talk) 19:47, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

@Lmatt: Good citing is always acceptable! Sorry if reverting you came off as harsh. It's best not to delete the controversy on controversial articles. If you haven't weighed in above in the RFC discussion, more is always better! Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 20:10, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

The Instability of Slurs citation[edit]

My recent contribution removed the following material as it appears to reference a fringe source a self-published source:

Linguists Christopher David and Elin McCready, writing in a 2018 paper for the University of the Ryukyus and Aoyama Gakuin University, argued that three properties make a term a slur: it must be derogatory towards a particular group, it must be used to subordinate them within some structure of power relations, and the derogated group must be defined by an intrinsic property. David and McCready wrote that the term TERF satisfies the first condition, fails the third condition, and that the second condition is contentious, in that it depends on how each group sees itself in relation to the other group.[1]


  1. ^ Davis, Christopher; McCready, Elin (2018-11-19). "The Instability of Slurs" (PDF). Semantics Archive. Retrieved 2019-04-24. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Lmatt (talk) 12:50, 15 September 2019 (UTC); edited 15:40, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

The Instability of Slurs may be a fringe source is a self-published source because it has not been published in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal and therefore appears not to have been subject to formal peer review. The paper is available on, a "repository of electronic preprints" which warns "not appropriate to cite a paper as appearing on the semantics archive". Lmatt (talk) 13:04, 15 September 2019 (UTC); edited Lmatt (talk) 15:42, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Good catch. It should not be used as a source. It also has no cites even on Google Scholar other than from one of the authors themselves. [2] -Crossroads- (talk) 16:15, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

The two of you appear to be confused about terminology and to be applying inappropriate irrelevant) critetia in this case. In WP parlance, a FRINGE source is one "that departs significantly from the prevailing views or mainstream views in its particular field". The article in question, while there is no evidence it was peer reviewed, certainly does not depart from mainstream views in its field. What is more, even though self-published the article meets the standard for a reliable source according to Wikipedia's criteria for self-published sources, as the authors are writing within a field of expertise (semantics) where they have a body of non-self published (and in this case peer-reviewed) work. Other criteria, such as MEDRS, do not in any way apply in this case. So try to adhere to policy rather than WP:IDONTLIKEIT, ok? Newimpartial (talk) 17:25, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: I have edited my comments to clarify that the paper is a self-published source and not necessarily a fringe source. Lmatt (talk) 15:47, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

According to policy (WP:SPS), the conditions a self published expert source must meet to be suitable for inclusion could be summarized as follows:

  • Are the authors established experts on the subject matter?
  • Has their work in the relevant field previously been published by reliable, independent publications?
  • Has the information in question been published in independent reliable source?

Lmatt (talk) 16:16, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

In order to determine whether this material is suitable for inclusion, we must first ask ourselves, which field of academic study is relevant on the subject of slurs? Lmatt (talk) 16:36, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Linguistics is the scientific study of language and it's structure[1] and the subfield sociolinguistics is "the study of the effect of the society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used."[2] Lmatt (talk) 17:05, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Assuming sociolinguistics is the relevant field (I believe it is), the next question is: are the authors established experts, i.e. has their work in this field previously been published by reliable, independent publications? Lmatt (talk) 17:11, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Regarding the policy:
  • The authors are established professionals in linguistics.[3][4]
  • McCready and Davis have previous works in linguistics and one covering slurs specifically (excluding this one).
  • Semantics Archive, where it has been published currently, is mostly used to share drafts and internal papers between linguistic and language professionals. Semantics Archive is an independent platform.
The first two points are solid. The last one is the only one being truly debated. It asks if more if the source is primary, secondary, or tertiary. The paper is a largely a secondary source. Citing it here in Wikipedia is a tertiary source. One key factor we also need to look at regarding this is that many sources cited in this article are equivalent to this one. (There are citations which just link to figures' personal webpages, for example.)
Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 17:04, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
In response to your points:
  • In the links you've given, McCready' papers are labelled as: "Semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, social meaning, languages of Asia", Davis' papers are tagged as: "Linguistics, Formal Semantics, Formal Pragmatics, Ryukyuan, Japanese". Linguistics is a wide and multidisciplinary field of study, we must consider whether the authors are established experts on the subject matter, which is the subject of slurs. The relevant field on the subject of slurs appears to be sociolinguistics.
  • The authors do not appear to have previous work on the subject of slurs in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Davis' manuscript Slurs are Invocations is noted McCready's website as "in preparation".
  • Semantics Archive is an independent platform, a preprint archive, so as @Newimpartial: commented, should be considered "according to Wikipedia's criteria for self-published sources".
Lmatt (talk) 18:18, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah that's now how things work. You're hyper-focusing on slurs and thinking that the experts need to be specific experts on slurs themselves, instead of their field. You also misunderstand the field. Language itself is a social construct. Nearly all discussion of language, even the most reserved, syntax and grammar-focused study will always involve sociolinguistics. Regardless, a known, competent, and professional linguist doesn't need to a hyper-specific expert in sociolinguistic analysis of slurs for their viewpoint to merit inclusion. (Also, you just echoed me on the third point.) Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 18:33, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@Gwenhope: I'm focusing on slurs because that is the subject matter. The Wikipedia policy on verifiability states that self-published material is not generally acceptable as a source. In order to be considered reliable, a self-published source must be produced by an established expert on the subject matter. To decide whether a source is produced by established expert, we must look to see whether their previous work in the relevant field has been published by multiple reliable, independent publications. As linguistics is such a wide field of study (see Template:Linguistics § Subfields) we must narrow the relevant field. I have assumed sociolinguistics is the relevant field but I'm open to a discussion on this. On your, last point I believe we are in agreement, we must consider this paper against the criteria for self-published sources. Lmatt (talk) 19:20, 19 September 2019 (UTC); edited Lmatt (talk) 19:23, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
It is definitely not the case that Nearly all discussion of language, even the most reserved, syntax and grammar-focused study will always involve sociolinguistics. Experts who focus on syntax focus on word order outside of social context. Experts who focus on phonetics or phonology focus on the sounds of language separate from social context. You can't divorce language from its social context in the everyday arena, but you can (and often should) do so in academic and scholarly studies of language outside of sociolinguistic studies. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:50, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Gwenhope Until this talk page I never heard of Rachel Mackinnon A quick trip to youtube netted this enlightening discussion It appears that it was TERF's that actually invented the acronym so it cannot be a slur Oldperson (talk) 21:39, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Oldperson, it can be a slur, regardless who invented it. Namely, in an example of a sort of linguistic Gresham’s law of language change, where a bad meaning drives out the good and a formerly neutral term becomes a dysphemism. Such was the case with terf (originally neutral). Mathglot (talk) 02:23, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
MathglotI understand that. It is all about perception; whose ox is being gored, and who holds the reins.Not wishing to be argumentative (unnecessarily so), I can,given time and inclination,come up with legions of neutral terms that become a dysphemism. But the question here is who wields the power to do harm and who is the recipient of harm. In the case at hand the TERF has the power to do harm,by exercising their rights of exclusion,though in my minds eye I question why a transwoman would seek to place herself in a situation where she is not wanted and will be met with hostility..but that is me. In a sense the question is epistemological, which is who cast the first stone. How should the recipient of TERF animosity respond? Quietude acceptance? Queer is a neutral term, when directed by "straights" towards "gays" it is a slur, but when used by gays within their community, it is either considered humorous, neutral or endearing. Straights have no right to use the term in reference to gay, in the same way that whites do not have the right to use the "N" word, but blacks do have that right. Also the use of slurs, internally by a group, have the benefit of taking ownership of the word, desensitizing the community to its harmful effects. But Ifear I stray far afield.Oldperson (talk) 02:58, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I have removed this material, because as I have explained, I believe this source is not suitable for inclusion as it does not appear to meet Wikipeida's conditions for a self published expert source. Lmatt (talk) 15:57, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
Seems a bit premature to remove it (since I'm seeing a general consensus for inclusion.) I'd say it should stay - they're clearly subject matter experts, being scholars of linguistics with both papers and entire books on comparable topics, and, in that respect, their opinions are more relevant than many of the people currently cited in opposition; if we removed them, I think we'd also have to remove most of the opposition statements (anyone who lacks relevant expertise on at least the level of being a linguist, expert on feminism or transgender issues, etc) to avoid WP:UNDUE issues. --Aquillion (talk) 17:55, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The opening sentence of this paper says "In this paper, we argue for a particular view of slurs according to which they are a semantically coherent class satisfying a set of related criteria" ie, the view we are proposing is not at present the generally accepted understanding of what constitutes a slur - even within our specific discipline - but it should be. Isn't that end of story as to whether any particular word, inc TERF, is generally regarded as a slur? The criteria they propose would anyway only apply within their field and would have little bearing on the general use of the word in everyday speech, which is the implied usage in this article.

According to their criteria, the sentence "You motherfucking, cock-sucking, shit-faced dwarfish Wop cunt" contains only one clear slur (Wop), since this relates to an intrinsic quality of a group - Italians. Dwarfish is an intrinsic quality but may not impugn a group here. The other words, and countless others, including many of the most offensive words in English (pig, arsehole etc) would not meet their criteria for a slur, since they are unadulterated insults that impugn no quality in the 'target'. It is also unclear whether other terms such as bitch, slut, whore etc would count as slurs, since words like this (which impugn a woman's morals or behaviour), are not attacking intrinsic qualities.

Most of the discussion above is rooted in whether this source is RS. I personally have no idea as to what authority this source has in precisely defining what a slur should be within the field of linguists. I myself in the course of reading around the TERF subject have come across at least a dozen definitions of slur, some by linguists, some have concluded TERF was a slur, others not. However, regardless of whether TERF is technically a slur or not, what does this tell us about what kind of word TERF is, or how it is commonly being used? There are many kinds of words, which - to a greater or lesser extent, and in certain contexts but not others - are used to impugn rather than inform (fascist, stalinist, puritan can all be proper nouns describing a historical group, or can be insults implying 'with all the negatives of that group'). Even if we 'prove' a term isn't a slur, than what does that imply it is, inherently neutral and factual?

Personally, given that the source above is simply one opinion - and not even the clearly authorative opinion of that profession, and given that they are speaking about a specific definition of slur, proposed for use within a specific field (linguistics) - I don't see what it adds to the article and its use calls for balancing arguments that the term is actually being used as a slur. The article is about TERFs not about slurs and we already know that the targets of this term think it is a slur, as do some independent RS, other people think it isn't. We don't have to settle which is 'right', especially when both sides appear to employing convergent definitions of what a slur is - some of which are technical and some of which are more "everyday speech". Pincrete (talk) 09:45, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

As a reply to Lmatt, and not to leave misinformation on the table, the Slurs source clearly meets the reliability criteria for SPS; the only possible issue mitigating against inclusion would be DUE. Newimpartial (talk) 13:06, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I think WP:DUE is the more relevant question here. @Pincrete: the source isn't presented as authoritative, it's simply presented as one additional opinion alongside several others. To my mind, it carries roughly the same weight as the comment from Deborah Cameron, whose self-published blog post is cited in the section on "opposition to the word". I could see a case for keeping both sources, or removing both, but I have a hard time seeing why we would include one but exclude the other. The sections should probably be roughly equal in length and depth of coverage since there's no clear majority viewpoint here. Nblund talk 17:32, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

NOTE: the comment below was moved from bottom of page Nblund talk 17:52, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

This text looks a bit off to me:

In a 2018 paper, linguists Christopher David and Elin McCready argued that three properties make a term a slur: it must be derogatory towards a particular group, it must be used to subordinate them within some structure of power relations, and the derogated group must be defined by an intrinsic property. David and McCready wrote that the term TERF satisfies the first condition, fails the third condition, and that the second condition is contentious, in that it depends on how each group sees itself in relation to the other group.[5]

The source doesn't appear to be peer-reviewed, it is a preprint system, so that can't be said to be the "publisher". There's no indication the text is peer-reviewed or has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. As an effectively ubnpublished article, it has no cites on Google Scholar that I can find. This is WP:SPS. Guy (help!) 17:43, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

@JzG: I think everyone agrees that this is a self-published source, but that alone doesn't warrant excluding it. You've exceeded 1RR here, and it seems like you didn't see this discussion when you made your first and second reverts. I think a self-revert is in order. Nblund talk 18:16, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
WP:RS is a reason for excluding it. There is no reason this could not be submitted for peer review, and no reason to include it before that has been done. Guy (help!) 18:31, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
Please read WP:SPS - self-published content from experts in a specific field (in this case, experts with peer-reviewed publications) are considered RS and are valid references for WP articles per policy. WP:MEDRS does not apply to this article. Newimpartial (talk) 18:37, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
It's a reliable primary source for the viewpoints of the authors. Really this is a question of due weight. I'm ambivalent, but there are WP:SPSs in several places in the article, so we should probably discuss a more consistent standard for inclusion.Nblund talk 18:44, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
No, Nblund. To quote WP:SPS, "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable, independent publications", which applies here. This reliabiltiy is not limited to being a source for the author's own personal viewpoint, which is a characteristic of SPS in general. Newimpartial (talk) 18:50, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
But in either case, the source is not being used for a claim of fact, it is being used to describe an argument with in text attribution given to the authors. The question of reliability is mostly moot here. Nblund talk 18:52, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
The significance of an opinion is normally established by others citing that opinion. This is a random opinion by random academics that is not in the peer-reviewed literature, being used in support of a contentious fact. Wikipedia doesn't include such sources unless there is clear evidence they are considered significant by others. What's happening here is that we are placing ourselves in the position of arbiters of significance and fact. That is not permitted. Guy (help!) 19:12, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
But I think that standard would also mean eliminating the reference to Cameron. It might also mean removing the references to Ditum, Heuchan as well - although those are not self-published, they are not referenced by others as far as I can tell. Personally, I kind of agree that that's usually the best standard, but this isn't a hill I'd choose to die on: its not like the opinion expressed there is wildly out of step with others in that section, and we've got rough parity of support and criticism. Nblund talk 20:42, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
No, Guy. When experts are commenting within their field of expertise - as demonstrated, in this case, by peer-reviewed publications - then they are not expressing a "random opinion". We are referencing linguists within the field of linguistics; the same academics weighing in on climate change might be "random", but this is a very different case. Newimpartial (talk) 21:21, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
You have <5000 edits. You don't get to lecture me (>120,000 edits, 15 years, admin) on what policy is, especially when citing WP:BRD as the edit summary for reinstating your own twice-reverted edit. You get to express an opinion if you like but in weighing that opinion people are entitled to look art your contributions and assess whether your decidedly narrow editing focus and your red-flag username might be indicia of being here on a mission. Also, you appear to think I "don't like" a source saying that TERF can't be a slur. You have skimped on your research. To the point that you are close to 100% wrong. Guy (help!) 23:18, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Guy that for disputed content, as this one appears to be, peer-reviewed sources are preferred. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 23:26, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
Where is any peer-reviewed source - or any source from anyone with any relevant kind of academic expertise - suggesting that TERF is a slur? The matter is disputed in op-ed pages, sure, but there is no dispute among experts.
Also, Guy, if your edit count enables you to read policy more accurately than I do, then I would appreciate some kind of policy-compliant explanation of where you think I err rather than UNCIVIL insinuations and ad hominem comments. This particular round of discussion started with you misapplying SYNTH, as far as I can tell, so maybe you could start your explanation there? Newimpartial (talk) 23:50, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

@Haukurth: I don't think this is one of those pages where "consensus through editing" is the best approach, but I would endorse your edit here in principle. Without secondary sources to determine whether this is WP:DUE it's difficult to justify including either of these self published sources, and I think that's an easier standard to apply consistently and objectively. I think the two sections might be improved by elaborating further on the literature that has been peer reviewed. Nblund talk 00:30, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Those goalposts are moving awfully fast. Meanwhile, back on Wikipedia, self-published sources are deprecated except for uncontroversial facts (which this is not). Guy (help!) 18:31, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Another approach would be to work the self-published comments by linguists so that they engage in a debate with one another, and remove self-published comments (including op-eds) by people without any relevant expertise at all. Newimpartial (talk) 00:36, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
While it's true that self-published stuff by established experts can in principle be used, I don't see a strong case for doing so here. Better sources are available. This is quite a challenging topic, though, and I don't claim to have all the answers. Haukur (talk) 11:10, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
If we're going to remove low-quality sources, I would also have to insist on this removal. Guidelines to a single essay don't represent meaningful long-standing positions, nor do they reflect any sort of expertise, nor is there any indication that there was any deep thought or editorial control or research put into the wording of that call for essays outside the (non-expert) personal opinions of the person writing the guidelines. Suggesting that such an obscure pull-quote could have more weight than an in-depth essay written by two professional, published linguists is absurd - removing avid and McCready would make that extremely WP:UNDUE (though I think it is already.) --Aquillion (talk) 11:37, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
It is WP:DUE to include that, so I restored it as part of the WP:BRD process. This article has lots of self-published content and opinion pieces being used as sources, and the David and McCready paper is back anyway. What you removed does seem to represent "meaningful long-standing positions" - there is no reason to think otherwise - and it is unlikely there was not editorial contol put into the essay guidelines. -Crossroads- (talk) 04:24, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
While it is correct to retain it now per BRD, it is by no means DUE to retain that Economist comment, which is neither significant in itself nor does it represent any relevant expertise on either language or queer politics. Newimpartial (talk) 12:17, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
It's an ongoing problem on this page just what the standards for sourcing should be; but by what is currently in place, it should remain. If we are excluding sources without expertise in language, then much of the article would need to be torched. And how are you defining what sources constitute expertise on...queer politics? There are no PhDs in or university departments of Queer Politics. -Crossroads- (talk) 14:32, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Most of the recognized academic expertise in queer politics resides within queer studies, sexuality studies, and gender studies programmes AFAIK. Newimpartial (talk) 19:14, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

I have removed the source after re-reading this conversation. I count 6 in favor of removal and 4 against. Pincrete and JzG I think make an especially strong case for removal. Given there is no consensus in favor of inclusion, the dubious nature of the source, and a majority in favor of removal, it should be removed. Imagine if some non-peer-reviewed preprint was being cited for some random academic's viewpoint in a science article. And the source cannot be compared to the other self-published sources in the article, which are by people who are notable in their own right. If someone wants to bring it back, please explain why on the basis of existing discussion and of policy, rather than simply asserting that it should be included on the basis of some vague definition of expert. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:48, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

On the basis of policy, self-published works by experts (in this case, those with peer-reviewed publications in the relevant field) are considered reliable sources. Since this is one of the few cases in this whole article where the source is considered reliable as anything other than a statement of the source's own opinion, it is therefore mandated by policy to include, rather than exclude, reliably-sourced content unless better sources can be found. Non-experts yammering in periodicals specializing in other fields (The Economist) are not "better sources". Newimpartial (talk) 17:05, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
No evidence either of these people have peer-reviewed publications on the definition of slur. In the article they directly say they are proposing a new definition. You also keep ignoring the "established" part of the established expert clause. And being a self-published preprint, the source is not reliable as a statement of anything other than the source's opinion. It's not due to include either. Lastly, you ignored the clear weight of opinion against including it. This is nearing WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT territory. -Crossroads- (talk) 17:15, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
We also now have Andrea Long Chu's view, so it is not needed. -Crossroads- (talk) 17:20, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
"Peer-reviewed publications on the definition of slur" seems absurdly narrow; they're both experienced and established linguists (Elin McCready has an entire book on honorifics), which is as close to an expert as we're likely to get. Given that the vast majority of other people cited are mere talking heads with no relevant expertise at all beyond strongly-held political views, pushing to remove one of the few experts we have seems a bit absurd. If we did have a linguistics expert on slurs specifically cited, perhaps we could replace them with that, but WP:DUE is about relative weight, and they deserve more weight than most of the people already cited in the section. --Aquillion (talk) 17:23, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
WP:SPS: Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter. Established expert wikilinks to Subject-matter expert, which indicates that such persons are considered authorities in their field. These two are not authorities. They are non-notable run of the mill academics at an obscure university who submitted their non-reviewed opinions to a preprint service. They are not established experts of any kind, let alone on the subject matter of slurs. -Crossroads- (talk) 17:48, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Crossroads, you are misunderstanding policy. For established experts, self-published works are reliable beyond simply statements of opinion; SPS are reliable for statements of personal opinion by anybody at all, in fact, when they are legit self-publications. And expertise in a subject is not defined as "having said the exact same thing in a peer-reviewed publication" - if it were, the policy language for reliable SPS would not exist. Expertise is established in various ways, including a track record of peer-reviewed publications in a field (in this case, linguistics). It is not synonomous with "being famous as an expert", which is a non-policy-compliant criterion. Newimpartial (talk) 17:28, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
The above is an unsubstantiated ad hominem, by an editor who does not have ability or credibility to make such statements.Oldperson (talk) 17:55, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
@Newimpartial and Crossroads:My apologies to Newimpartial. The structure of the thread in which I mentioned an ad hominem was confusing. My comment was directed to Crossroads and not Newimpartial.Oldperson (talk) 20:59, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
How on Earth did I commit an ad hominem??? And your comment that I do not have "ability or credibility" to say what I said constitutes a personal attack that you should retract. -Crossroads- (talk) 21:12, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I can't answer that, but the first example of subject-matter expert given in the wikilinked article is that "an accountant is a subject-matter expert in accountancy". A linguist is a subject-matter in linguistics and a semantic linguist is a subject-matter expert in semantic linguistics. Academics with a track record of peer-reviewed publications in semantics (ever heard of a monograph?) most definitely count as SMEs in the sense referred to in SPS. Newimpartial (talk) 21:23, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I never said established expertise required having said the exact same thing in a peer reviewed publication. And SPS requires expertise in the subject matter, not the whole field. It's not due to include this random opinion; this was addressed above by JzG. I don't see anything to be gained by debating this further with you. I do hope other editors give their opinions who have not yet done so.
I'd also like to point out that Newimpartial accused me of edit warring on my talk page. -Crossroads- (talk) 18:34, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
That would be because you did two reverts almost back to back on a 1RR page. Why you would object to the template, I have no idea. Newimpartial (talk) 18:55, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
@Crossroads: To be clear, are you arguing above that the "Instability of Slurs" should be excluded but that Deborah Cameron's blog post should be left in place? I don't think the template was off-base, given the ongoing discussion and lack of consensus here. This is starting to look like an area where an RfC might be needed if there's not a grounds for compromise. Nblund talk 19:41, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
My two reverts were to totally different content by totally different editors. I have never seen that called edit warring anywhere. It is not by any reasonable definition.
Cameron's blog post has stronger grounds for inclusion because she is notable and has an article. But this does appear headed for an RfC. -Crossroads- (talk) 20:27, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Crossroads We may not agree on much, but I agree with you, two reverts, two different authors and edits is not a violation of the 1RR for this talk page.Oldperson (talk) 20:34, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Not on the Talk page, but on the TERF article page. Policy is quite clear on this point: "An editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page—whether involving the same or different material—within a 24-hour period." For 1RR, please replace "three" with "one". Newimpartial (talk) 20:38, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Discussion has been ongoing on my talk page, but as a sign of good faith, I would have undone one of my two reverts if they weren't both undone by others already. -Crossroads- (talk) 21:28, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
The lack of an article isn't really an indicator of a lack of notability. Wikipedia has well-documented gaps in our coverage of academics. The objective standard here for WP:DUE weight would be coverage by secondary sources, and neither source has any. So I don't see how we would make that distinction. Nblund talk 20:46, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Once again, the question about reliable sourcing and SPS should not be "is this academic notable?" but rather, "is this academic's recognized expertise relevant to the claims they are making?" Cameron's probably is, but so is that of McCready. But the opinions of Cameron would not be of interest in themselves, WP article on her or not, particularly since she is being cited here as documenting that some of those referred to as TERFs consider the term a slur. This is only of interest as a a potential factual statement or expert judgement, not as a personal opinion. Newimpartial (talk) 20:59, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm raising a due weight issue, not a reliability question. Nblund talk 21:18, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Right, but what I'm saying is that, when so few RS on the subject matter are available, RS should be considered before DUE on any issue of contention. We care what the situation is, according to the best available expertise, and only subsequently do we care what commentators think about it. Per WP:ENC. Newimpartial (talk) 21:27, 6 October 2019 (UTC)



  1. ^ Definition of Linguistics by Lexico
  2. ^ Current LINGUIST Subfields
  3. ^ "Christopher Davis - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  4. ^ "Elin McCready - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  5. ^ Davis, Christopher; McCready, Elin (2018-11-19). "The Instability of Slurs" (PDF). Semantics Archive. Retrieved 2019-04-24. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Coinage and usage[edit]

My recent contribution removed the following material as it appears to have been given WP:UNDUE weight.

Writing for The TransAdvocate, Cristan Williams argued that the term references "a brand of 'radical feminism' that is so rooted in sex essentialism and its resulting biologism, it actively campaigns against the existence, equality, and/or inclusion of trans people."[1][2]


Lmatt (talk) 14:56, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

This is not WP:UNDUE. Many of the sources cited in the "opposition" section have similar citation reliability levels. Repressing this actually promotes WP:FALSEBALANCE because TERF ideology itself is already a specific (possibly minority) view. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 16:33, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Williams' commentaries on the term are cited by other reliable sources like Vox and Daily Dot - so I have a hard time seeing why this wouldn't be a notable perspective here. Nblund talk 17:36, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Unless this has already been repeated word-for-word or in a very similar likeness in the article already, then why not?--Trans-Neptunian object (talk) 18:16, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The first piece is You might be a TERF if… published on The TransAdvocate. It is unclear whether The TransAdvocate can be considered a reliable source as there is no evidence that the site has a reputation for fact-checking and editorial oversight. As well being the writer of the piece Williams is also the editor of the site, in fact her biography describes herself as "editor at the social justice sites and". While William's has published work in the peer-reviewed academic journal Transgender Studies Quarterly, Williams' piece is not scholarly work and is instead written as "a quick guide to help you figure out if you’re someone who pushes TERF ideology".
  • The second piece is published on The Daily Dot. The consensus on this source is The Daily Dot is considered generally reliable for Internet culture. Consider whether content from this publication constitutes due weight before citing it in an article. It is unclear whether the Daily Dot is reliable on the subject of radical feminism. Lmatt (talk) 19:08, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
The viewpoint is attributed to Williams in-text. It isn't stated as a fact, so the reliability of Trans Advocate isn't really the issue. You raised an issue of WP:DUE weight, but her views on this subject are frequently cited by high-quality reliable sources (here's another example), which is a good indicator that they warrant inclusion here. Nblund talk 19:28, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
In regard to Wiliams' opinions, there doesn't appear to be any evidence she is frequently cited by reliable sources. The book you gave as an example, Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminism is a self-published source so we cannot simply assume it is a "high quality reliable source" without considering it against Wikipedia's policy on self-published sources. Lmatt (talk) 20:54, 19 September 2019 (UTC); deleted Lmatt (talk) 21:58, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
You think that a chapter in an edited volume from a respected academic press is a self published source? Nblund talk 21:38, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Possibly not strictly a self-published source, but not a highly cited one [3] Lmatt (talk) 21:58, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
The source Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminism is a book edited by Tasha Oren [4], an associate professor of film and media studies and Andrea L. Press [5], a professor of media studies and sociology. The book is a WP:TERTIARY source and not widely cited [6] so it is unclear whether or it can be considered reputable. Lmatt (talk) 15:49, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
Since when has "highly cited" become a criteria for RS or anything? WP:WEASEL Oldperson (talk) 23:22, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@Oldperson: P.S. WP:WEASEL words are words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. Lmatt (talk) 15:49, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd say that the disputes over the term TERF are often what we might call a "very online" thing and that the Daily Dot is therefore an excellent source. And I second what someone said above about this being equal or higher in weight than many things cited in the opposition section - again, we can't apply WP:DUE in an unequal fashion, especially when covering a dispute that is broadly divided into two sides; if we removed something like this, we'd have to remove several weaker sources from the opposition section as well. --Aquillion (talk) 18:00, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an activism problem[edit]

Not related to improving the article, hatting per WP:NOTFORUM Nblund talk 17:28, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Even the openly and intentionally biased FeministWiki has a MUCH more informative article on "TERF" than this page:

When will the non-biased editors on Wikipedia finally admit that trans-related articles are being held under control by activists? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:908:C70:52C0:2DE9:D3B5:BBE7:AE35 (talk) 17:15, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

I daresay the FeministWiki article suffers more from activist capture than the one on WP, but since the former site belongs to "anti-prostitution and anti-pornography" (a.k.a. essentialist) feminits, this should not actually be a surprise to anyone. Newimpartial (talk) 17:33, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
Oo. I didn't know about the Feminist Wiki. Thanks for the link. Pyxis Solitary (yak) 03:40, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

Description of Cristan Williams and Smythe's role in coining the term "TERF"[edit]

I don't believe either of the edits below were improvements:

  1. This edit describes TransAdvocate as Cristan Williams' "transgender rights website". Williams is the editor-in-chief for the site, but saying it is "her website" seems a bit like calling the New York Times "Dean Baquet's news website" (okay, slight exaggeration). The previous wording still gave proper attribution. I'm not necessarily opposed to noting the site's editorial stance, but I suspect that readers can gather that the site is pro-trans based on the name "Trans Advocate"
  2. this edit: the wording here seems like it implies that Smythe took credit for creating the term in her 2008 blog post. But that's not what she did. The previous wording did a better job of communicating what Smythe actually says: she probably didn't coin it, but she may have been one of the first to use it in a public post.

I'm open to re-wording if someone has an objection to either of these, but I'm inclined to simply revert both of these to their previous wordings.Nblund talk 18:32, 16 September 2019 (UTC)


At several points the article uses the terms "trans people" or "trans men' when a much more apt choice of words would be "trans advocates" or something similar to avoid excluding allies. Orchastrattor (talk) 19:53, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

We can't change make changes willy-nilly; it has to correspond to what reliable sources say. That said, if you can give examples from the text that you think are inaccurate in that they don't correspond to the sources, please do, and they can be discussed. Mathglot (talk) 20:32, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

McKinnon again[edit]

I reverted this edit adding the words "Transgender rights activist" as an introduction to language professor Rachel McKinnon. This has nothing to do with McKinnon's credentials, and is a POV attempt to characterize her for who she is and thereby presumably discredit her views, rather than describe her by her actual professional accomplishments or position. This is no more appropriate, than it would be to introduce Lipstadt at the Holocaust denial page, as: "Jewish rights advocate and Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt has called Irving a holocaust denier." That would get you slapped down pretty quick. This is no different. Mathglot (talk) 20:47, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

McKinnon self-describes as both an academic and an activist on her personal website[7]. Her activism in my opinion constitutes a distinct body of work, separate from her academic work on speech acts. The source for her view is a youtube post (with <8k views) from her video series "Trans 101": this seems clearly to me to be an instance of McKinnon's activism. Cheers, gnu57 20:58, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Be that as it may, the point is how *McKinnon" is characterized, not how the comment is characterized. One could, if one wished, attack the comment for the reasons you stated, and then it would probably fall under WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV in my opinion (already satisfied by the current wording) however that is a separate discussion (feel free to raise it). Other professionals and intellectuals are active about sociopolitical topics outside their main professional expertise as well, but they are normally introduced in a professional manner. For example: although Noam Chomsky has been highly active in topics such as Latin America, East Timor, Democracy, publishing, Palestine, racism, and other topics beyond his titular profession, he is typically introduced as a "linguist",[1] "Professor",[2] "Institute Professor at M.I.T.",[3] " linguist, political philosopher"[4] or in more than one of these in series. I'm not putting McKinnon on the same level, and yes, she has political and social opinions about which she writes, but she deserves the same neutral treatment as far as *who* she is, as Chomsky or any other professional. Feel free to attack her opinions as POV or whatever, but I don't think that applies to a neutral description of who she is. Also, she's alive, so WP:BLP applies. Mathglot (talk) 00:04, 18 September 2019 (UTC) there something bad about calling a person an activist? gnu57 00:59, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
While I get what Mathglot is saying here, as the person who wrote this paragraph originally I agree with gnu that in this particular case, that she is both an activist and a professor is relevant. The context of this paragraph is listing trans activists that have problems with the term, so in that context that she's a trans activist is relevant. The source in that paragraph is not her academic work but a YouTube video she did as part of her activism.
That all being said, I swear there used to be a section on academic opinions on the term which seems to have been cut. That's a good place to put her academic work on the term as well as that other source I found that appears to also have been cut. Loki (talk) 01:34, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Update: it appears that section still exists but it was cut back significantly by Mathglot himself. The reason I had such a lot of info about a single source is that it was the single most reliable source on the page for settling the underlying question of whether TERF is a slur, seeing as it comes from neutral academics doing purely academic work. Loki (talk) 01:41, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Loki for mentioning Rachel Mackinnon's youtube. Until this talk page I never heard of Rachel (or Natalie Wynn for that matter (honestly). But I thank you, a quick trip to youtube netted this enlightening discussion It appears that it was TERF's that actually invented the acronym so it cannot be a slur.Oldperson (talk) 03:23, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Further update: I think what Loki meant to say was, "that section still exists, because it was restored in this edit by Mathglot himself themself,[a] after it had been entirely removed from the article by a different editor in this earlier edit. After restoring it, Mathglot then reduced the length a bit in this edit, inviting other editors to adjust it as needed." That's what they meant to say, I'm pretty sure. Face-wink.svg Mathglot (talk) 03:31, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@Mathglot: I have reverted this edit. Could we move that discussion to § The Instability of Slurs citation. Lmatt (talk) 15:33, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Mathglot: Genuinely sorry about the pronouns, I'd thought I'd seen some mention of your gender before somewhere. However, I defend my description that you cut it back significantly. Because, while you did restore it, cutting it back was also 100% your decision (and obviously listing the entire history of the page shouldn't be necessary to describe any single edit). Loki (talk) 03:49, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Loki, sure, np. (But now that you know, can you please fix it above? See WP:REDACT. Thanks.) I was both the one who restored it from zero, as well as the one who cut it back. WP:BRD, right? No edit is final on a Wiki. Mathglot (talk) 04:36, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Someone already redacted the pronoun, so that's not an issue any more. I think the discussion of whose responsibility cutting it was is not productive in the slightest and so I'm gonna bow out of it. Loki (talk) 16:03, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

@Oldperson: regarding the edit you just made regarding this section, it both doesn't belong in that section. It should also be combined with Julia Serano who said similar words as well in the correct section. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 02:19, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Gwenhope Thanks, moved check it out..Oldperson (talk) 02:39, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Regarding this: McKinnon (around minute 2:30 in the video) says that the term was coined by two trans-inclusive radical feminists. I don't necessarily have a problem with the source, but we already cover this in the coinage and usage section in the article. McKinnon does note the origin of the term, but I don't really think she makes that a core part of her argument about whether or not its a slur. Nblund talk 16:25, 20 September 2019 (UTC) Oldperson: at 3:30 in the video, McKinnon says: the term was coined by cisgender radical feminists who didn't want to be associated with these transphobic assholes. She doesn't say the term was coined by "TERFS" - that would conflict with what we say in the article. Nblund talk 16:32, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Gwenhope and Nblund: Roger, copy, CFAB, your point is well made. Here is a suggestion, Why don't you edit my comment on the article, without reverting (I am sore tired with these POV reverts. Edit my comment to be in line with what you just said. Pinging Gwen for her input.Oldperson (talk) 17:03, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
The article is under WP:1RR, so you should probably just revert yourself and then we can hash it out here. My inclination is simply to remove it - McKinnon is saying that the term was coined by two radfems, but we already discuss that in the entry and its really not central to her argument. Nblund talk 17:12, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

@Oldperson: Regarding this edit and per WP:TPG please do not edit the comments of other users or delete material that has already been replied to. What you did was confusing. Generally <ins> and <del> should be used. —DIYeditor (talk) 19:20, 30 September 2019 (UTC)


Expand for refs


  1. ^ himself / herself / themself: When you don't know someone's preferred pronouns, use the pronoun replacement templates {{they}}, {{them}}, {{their}}, {{theirs}}, and {{themself}} which will pick up the right value out of their user preferences. To create the proper reflexive pronoun for Mathglot, code: Mathglot {{themself|Mathglot}}, which generates Mathglot themself. Note that for PamD, for example, this would generate: PamD herself; and for Bradv, the same code generates Bradv himself.

Refs below were not cherry-picked for the occasion; the search was this.

  1. ^ Margalit Fox (1998-12-05), "A Changed Noam Chomsky Simplifies", NY Times
  2. ^ Christopher Lehmann-Haupt (March 8, 1982), "Books Of The Times", NY Times
  3. ^ Michael Mandelbaum (March 21, 1982), "AMERICA THE OBJECTIONABLE", NY Times
  4. ^ George Yancy; Noam Chomsky (March 18, 2015), "Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism", NY Times

How can TERF be a slur[edit]

@Gwenhope, Fae, and Nblund: have given the subject (whether TERF is a slur). Given that the acronym (phrase) was coined as a self description by two exclusionist lesbians. I say no. Recognizing that a word or acronym over time can become a slur, I still say no. TERF is only a slur, when it is falsely applied. Like calling a butch acting, but heterosexual woman a dyke or lesbian, or an effeminate male, who is most definitely heterosexual, queer or gay. It happens all of the time. Humans are quick to judge and quick to label. But TERF’s take on the label with pride, after all, it is they that invented it as a self description. They aren’t transphobic per se, because (strangely) they accept a transman as one of their own, to the chagrin (I understand) of transmen who consider that TERF's are negating their own identity and experience and thus invalidating them. TERF's are in fact allies of homophobes and transphobes whether that is their intention or not, it is an effect. TERF;s discriminate against transwomyn and are proud of it, so it seems. So how can it be a slur. Can anyone demonstrate an example where TERF is actually used as a slur, when it is used to describe TERF’s. Can anyone describe an example where TERF is used as a slur against non TERF’s? A woman or womyn, who excludes transwoman is by definition a TERF, a term that was invented by TERF’s. I really do not see how that can become a slur, regardless of how used. It is like calling a masculine lesbian a dyke. A term they are proud of (ie. Dykes on Bikes).Oldperson (talk) 00:47, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

I don't think its a matter of our personal opinions on the subject, we need to describe the debate without taking sides. The term wasn't coined by exclusionist lesbians, though. Nblund talk 14:24, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Exactly. Not our call. And these things are often situational anyway - Chris Rock uses the n-word, I would not. Guy (help!) 15:39, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

@Nblund and JzG: I fear that it was TERF'sthat invented the term.A quick trip to youtube netted this enlightening discussion It appears that it was TERF's that actually invented the acronymOldperson (talk) 17:17, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

This is not correct. Nor is it relevant. I don't quite know what else to say here. I explained this just a few days ago in the thread directly above this one. Nblund talk 17:27, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@Nblund: Actually it is correct and it is relevant. Rachel McKinnon holds up documentation that shows that it was TERF's who created the phrase (acronym), therefore it cannot be a slur. It is held to be a slur by TERF's who don't like to be named for what they are. Your previous comment is noted, but not acceptedOldperson (talk) 17:48, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm watching this page, so there's no need to ping me. McKinnon shows that two trans inclusive radical feminists coined the term to distinguish their views from the views of exclusionary radfems. The very first sentence of this section of our own article makes this clear. Please feel free to ask another user to explain it if you're still not convinced, but I am quite sure that you've misinterpreted McKinnon here, and I feel like I've done all I can to convey that. Nblund talk 18:11, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Nblund, forgive me if I don’t recall or connect your response days earlier. I’ve been down for medical reasons. I reviewed Rachel MacKinnon and you are quite correct. TERF was indeed coined by transinclusionary radfems to describe transExclusionaryRadFems, but Rachel, who is credentialed to speak of such things, goes on to explain the difference between “use” and “mentions” of a word or acronym. A slur has a non pejorative use. Example dyke (pejorative when used or directed at say “lipstick” lesbians) but worn with pride by say “Dykes on Bikes) which is non pejorative. TERF is an acronym for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In other words it is an acronym for a non pejorative phrase, thus a synonym, it can’t be a pejorative. I am also familiar with the policy as regards the use of self publishing sources and you tube as a citation or reference in an article. This does not apply to talk pages though, where such can be useful aids in explaining and defining an issue, especially with the speaker has established credentials in the area under discussion, such as with Rachel MacKinnon.Oldperson (talk) 19:55, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Like I said, I don't think our personal opinions on the topic really matter here. For whatever its worth: I basically agree with you, but I try pretty hard to avoid letting that influence my editing. Nblund talk 20:59, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

ContraPoints deletion[edit]

@Haukurth: given the highly-controversial nature of this page and all the points therein, wouldn't it have been better to discuss deleting this section regarding ContraPoints to try to fix it instead of just excising it? Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 19:15, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm happy to discuss it. Do you know what's going on with that quote that didn't seem to be in the source? Haukur (talk) 19:33, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
As for the video itself: If we were to include it as a source, what policy-based argument would we give for that? Haukur (talk) 19:41, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@Haukurth: See my response to Nblund directly above. This is a talk page, not an article. While, presently, one can not use youtube as an RS, it is useful, and a short cut when the youtube presentation expands on and clarifies a subject, so no problem using you tube in a talk page, only on articles.Oldperson (talk) 19:55, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@Haukurth and Oldperson:, currently WP:YTREF states that YouTube references must meet WP:SPS standards. Breadtube sources like ContraPoints or Philosophy Tube are interesting. Philosophy Tube cites constantly, so those citations could be used as references, for example. Both channels are run by graduate-degree philosophers. However, the issue with a lot of this is we're seeing establishment sources write a lot more favoring terfs, which can be seen as a form of punching down at trans people who are more disenfranchised. In the end, because trans folks tend to work through decentralized networks while terfs and other prejudicial individuals work through establishment systems, it could be that policy is specifically causing WP:UNDUE-weight to be given to anti-trans sources in this instance. Sources exist, decently-reputable ones, however due to their platform, they are inherently being suppressed, causing significant source-related bias. If this prevents us from giving voice to the trans community, perhaps it is time to WP:IGNORE. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 21:49, 2 October 2019 (UTC) (accidentally left unsigned, 17:32, 3 October 2019 (UTC))
Having trans perspectives here is definitely important and I've been looking for more of them. I found the following in "On liking women" by Andrea Long Chu, page 53: "They also don’t much like the name TERF, which they take to be a slur — a grievance that would be beneath contempt if it weren’t also true, in the sense that all bywords for bigots are intended to be defamatory." Haukur (talk) 15:21, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Gwenhope you forgot to sign your comment and I had to search View History.I think that I understand your comment about Youtube references. Apparently some youtube references can be used in article citations. Is that correct? However my statement was that comments on article talk pages are of a different nature, and dodn't require RS citations, in fact citations used in talk pages are few and far between, as they are mostly editors opinions and comments.Oldperson (talk) 16:22, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
HaukurGwenhope I visited Andrea Long Chu's page, via your link. And am totally confused. It appears that the page was edited into nonsense.
For one thing it appears that the article was writtern or heavily edited by a transphobe. I checked out one citation, to the American Conservative, written by Rod Dreher entitled Andrea Long Chu's Fake Vagina. and then in the last two sentences under Career is written
"Chu says that the treatments doctors have given him are making him sicker, even making him desire suicide. But if he wants to suffer and to die, then he should have that right. Satisfying desire is the only thing that matters.[15]
Chu wrote about her experiences as a teaching assistant for Avital Ronell at New York University, stating that based on those experiences she believed the accusations of sexual harassment leveled at Ronell by graduate student Nimrod Reitman.[16]"Oldperson (talk) 16:22, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, good catch. This American Conservative quote is kind of inflammatory and also somewhat confusing without more context. I've removed it. Haukur (talk) 20:31, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm the person who originally added the Contrapoints source, and my rationale is primarily that it's justifiable under WP:ABOUTSELF because the section is about the opinions of trans activists and Contrapoints is clearly a relevant trans activist. I think it's probably also justifiable under the ordinary SPS guidelines if we say the relevant field is "transfeminist activism": Natalie Wynn is a relevant expert on transfeminist activism whose opinions on that topic have been solicited by non-Youtube reliable sources (such as the several interviews in her article), but mainly publishes on Youtube in a similar manner to how Julia Serano has been published in third-party sources but the bulk of her work is on Medium. If there was a better source for that opinion I would take it, but unfortunately it's a very specific quote that's relevant to this article, and not really the sort of quote that she repeats in interviews a lot.
I also think that we really badly need sources like this: even past the balance issue, there are very few reliable sources about this topic at all. And this one was very good at summarizing the transfeminist argument against "TERF is a slur" directly and concisely. Loki (talk) 04:19, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
It's a great video – lots of interesting thoughts and I love her costumes, her voice and her style. We could interpret the expert clause at WP:SPS so broadly as to apply to self-published YouTube videos as long as the subject is sometimes quoted in traditional media. But I think that goes beyond the intent of the policy and would make it hard to contain the spread of self-published sources in general. For example, if we included the video there would be a reasonable case to also, for balance, include Holly Lawford-Smith's self-published response to it: [8] Haukur (talk) 11:01, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Why would we? What is Lawford-Smith's expertise here? Has she been interviewed by, say, Vice or the New Yorker as an expert in the subject of TERFism? Loki (talk) 23:28, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

The Epistemology of Propaganda[edit]

"McKinnon's peer reviewed paper, which offers essentially the same argument"[9] This seemed promising but doesn't quite pan out. The paper says that people claim 'ludicrously' that TERF is a slur (p. 484) and that this is 'absurd' and 'nonsensical' (p. 485) but, unlike the YouTube video, the article never gets around to actually presenting an argument for this position. To support the 'absurd, nonsensical' part the article cites "Anderson and Lepore (2013)", which then doesn't occur in the article's list of references but I'm sure we can chase down what it is and find out whether it's useful. Haukur (talk) 21:37, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Another thing - I'm not sure this is a peer-reviewed article and it doesn't read like one. The journal did not print the text as an 'article' but as part of a book symposium.[10] This kind of thing isn't necessarily peer-reviewed. But it's a perfectly cromulent source regardless. Haukur (talk) 21:43, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Haukurth Do you think using newly fashioned words like "cromulent" is cute. For those of us who have had no use for the Simpsons we had to resort to Google. You could have used humorous instead, but then you would have to have explained why you felt the article was humorous.The question of peer review as regards Rachels argument sounds to me like a sleight of hand ad hominem. It's mention was not necessary, except as to slip in to the discussion a question as to her credentials. Oldperson (talk) 00:03, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
"Cromulent" doesn't mean 'humorous', though... --Equivamp - talk 02:03, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Equivamp According to this it doesOldperson (talk) 02:24, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Let me help you sort this out. When you encounter a dictionary entry which begins with something within parentheses and in italics it will usually not be the sense of the word but rather a description of the word. So, if we look up, say, carnifex the entry says (rare, literary) A butcher. This does not mean that 'carnifex' means "rare" or "literary". Rather, the word means "butcher" but the word itself is rare and literary. Similarly with cromulent, the entry you cite has this: (humorous) Fine, acceptable or correct; seamless, relevant, legitimate or authentic; nonanomalous. So the word means "acceptable" but it is humorous. Does that make sense? Haukur (talk) 09:07, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
On a closer reading, I think you're right that this is less focused on the "slur" debate than I remembered. However: we cite criticism of McKinnon's use of the term in the section immediately above that section, and her position here (including the cited Youtube video) are cited by the IHE article on the controversy over her article. It might be better if we restructured the article so that McKinnon's paper, the critique, and her response are all together in one paragraph, but I do think citing her argument here is worthwhile at least as long as we're citing her critics. Nblund talk 21:56, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Those are pretty reasonable points and I agree that another structure might serve us better. I'll keep kicking the tires a little bit and try to get more familiar with the sources. Haukur (talk) 22:03, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Bolding of "gender critical"[edit]

@Haukurth: I bolded "gender critical" in the lead section per WP:BOLDTITLE, as it is a significant alternative title for the topic and also redirects to this article. Yes it's non-neutral, but WP:OTHERNAMES does not mention any requirement stating that alternative names for a topic must be neutral. feminist (talk) 15:40, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining your thinking. My concern isn't neutrality as such but rather clarifying the topic of the article. We could in theory write an article about 'gender critical' feminists, their views and their critics and so on. And if people want to take it in that direction, I'd be open to considering it. But the article as currently construed is fairly narrowly about the word TERF so it seemed to me that only that particular word needed to be bolded. Haukur (talk) 16:03, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
^Agreed. This entry is really about the word, but the relevant viewpoints are covered in Feminist views on transgender topics, and Radical_feminism#Views_on_transgender_topics. A standalone article might eventually be spun out from those entries, but the debate over the term itself is worth covering independently. Nblund talk 16:19, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Whether a separate article for "gender critical" is warranted depends on what direction we want to take our current article towards. Do we want to focus on the online subculture of those who identify as "gender critical" feminists, sort of like the Incel article? Or do we want this article to exclusively focus on the term TERF and its usage, sort of like Womyn or Cuckservative? Personally I lean towards the former (i.e. not having a separate article) as there is much overlap between what the two terms cover. feminist (talk) 16:55, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of what we do in the future, the article is currently about the term, while Feminist views on transgender topics has material that covers this stuff as a movement. I think changing all the redirect targets to this page is clearly premature given the relative state of each article. Nblund talk 17:10, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
I can see merit in having a separate article for the term and for the subject that the term refers to. It strikes me as backwards that the former has been created while the latter still has not. But if we are to agree that this article is not to be transformed into the latter, then where should gender critical redirect to? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 18:34, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
It previously redirected to the relevant section in Feminist views on transgender topics - and that portion seems like a much better starting place if someone wanted to make a spinout article. I don't think "TERFS" would really be an appropriate name for an article on the movement. Nblund talk 18:47, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Nblund. But no doubt some people end up at the term article but are really looking for info on the movement. Tricky stuff. We need to keep thinking about how we can best serve our readers. Haukur (talk) 18:52, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I moved the redirect to go to here because it seemed like this article was being primed to be about the subject. It doesn't help that this article is linked to as the "main article" at Feminist views on transgender topics#Feminist exclusion of trans women, when that would be incorrect if this is just about the term. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 22:05, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. Maybe we could change that from 'main' to 'see also'. Haukur (talk) 22:34, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
It might also make sense to link to Feminist views on transgender topics in a hatnote at the top of this page. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 17:36, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Good idea. You mean something like this? This article is about the word TERF. For a broader discussion of related issues see Feminist views on transgender topics. Haukur (talk) 21:48, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah! — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 22:27, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
@Aeusoes1 and Haukurth:, See how they do it at the top of LGBT and Gay. Mathglot (talk) 06:50, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Good find, those are useful precedents. And I guess we should incorporate the protein stuff into the same note. Haukur (talk) 11:42, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
I heavily agree with adding this, as a trans individual. Admittedly, it might be contentious in regards to WP:LABEL however it is wonderful that the direct connection would exist here. After all, "gender critical" is just a nicer cover term for "terf", like "race realist" is for racism, like "alt-right" is for neo-fascism and immediate adjacent. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 23:50, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Note that "gender critical" is neither a synonym or euphemism for TERF, the concept goes well beyond the trans question and it is essentially associated to "gender abolitionism". Some people consider these positions as transphobic/trans-exclusionary/essentialist, of course, but it would be an error to treat both as synonyms. --MarioGom (talk) 22:57, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
@MarioGom: both "gender critical" and "gender abolitionism" are, in reality, just thinly-veiled, synonymous cover terms. Proponents of those positions do not want to "abolish gender". In fact, most of them rely heavily on it. It is extremely rare to see someone actually critical of gender theory in the gender critical community. The only thing they're really against transgender and non-binary expression. Otherwise, they tend to reinforce gender roles extremely strongly. This video covers most of this. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 00:02, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
  • By the way, I agree with the addition of the hatnote mentioned above. --MarioGom (talk) 23:18, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
WTF Gender abolitionism? So we now have a neologism, apparently created by editor above. That has absolutely nothing to do with the subject, and appears to be a personal POV at hand and is certainly not WP:NPOVOldperson (talk) 23:48, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
For what it's worth, "gender abolitionism" is a FRINGE POV that has been enthusiastically advocated by some editors now banned from WP and encouraged by off-Wiki brigading efforts. It amounts to the view that all we need is biological sex, while gender is some kind of illusion or "ideology". It has been supported by very strongly held feelings and nothing in the way of actual evidence. Newimpartial (talk) 23:54, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
NewimpartialThanks for enlightening me. Allow me to restate in terms that I can understand. "gender abolitionism" is an ideology that is being pushed by "transphobes". FWIW. I personally shrink from any term, with social connotations that has the word "phobe" I doubt seriously that bigots are "phobic". Agoraphoic, arachniphobic.coulrophobia elicit disabling emotional and even physical responses. I am sure that this is the case of the likes of some, a minority, of "homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes" etc who are simply bigots, nothing more or less, just bigots irrationally biased against people who do not belong to their tribe, cult, ground. There has to be a better word for such. I don't think that TERF's are all phobic, id they are then they are androphobic. They are simply man hating bigots, who deny transwomny their own identity, and paradoxically expect, nay demand that society at large recognize their identity as (mostly lesbian) radical feminists. I am searching for analogies to TERFS and can only think of advocates of the "one drop" theory of racial identity or classification. Whichin itself is humorous as many racial bigots are themselves "one drop". Such as the case of the descendants of the black indentured servant, Edward Mozingo The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, A Search for Family. I argure for calling TERF's what they are...bigots.Oldperson (talk) 00:26, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Don't let the etymology set you astray. The relevant -phobe terms (homophobe, transphobe, etc) are talking about hatred and bigotry, not fear. That the -phobe part ultimately comes from an Ancient Greek word meaning fear is as irrelevant as the fact that nausea comes from a word meaning 'sound'. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 04:20, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

I agree with Haukurth and Nblund that the viewpoints of these individuals should be discussed at Feminist views on transgender topics, with this article being solely about the word. If any leftover content is off topic in that regard, it should be moved or cut. I appreciate the hatnote changes. The "gender critical" redirects can all go to the Feminist views... article, since this one is just about a word, not directly the group who call themselves gender critical. -Crossroads- (talk) 05:05, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

I will retarget these if nobody objects. -Crossroads- (talk) 17:07, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

I can see merit in having a separate article for the term and for the subject that the term refers to. It strikes me as backwards that the former has been created while the latter still has not. I don't disagree, though I wouldn't look forward to the fight over what to call an article about the subject. TERF is the WP:COMMONNAME, but of course many people would object to Wikipedia using that term in its own voice. And then there'd be the fight over whether to bold "gender critical" in the lead, or whether that would be equivalent to bolding race realist in the lead section of scientific racism, etc. WanderingWanda (talk) 16:09, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

We'd probably want to rename this article to TERF (term)' and use TERF for the article on the subject itself. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 16:17, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't think we should open that can of worms until we absolutely need to do so. Nblund talk 19:50, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

This is all pretty challenging. Currently we're covering the word here and the movement, such as it is, at Feminist views on transgender topics. Maybe we'll eventually manage to get enough content on the movement to spin out a separate article. But I think it might make sense to tidy up the word article first.

One thing I'd like to move over to Feminist views on transgender topics is this paragraph:

The claim by anti-transgender feminists that they are not trans-exclusionary because they categorize trans men as women has been rejected by trans men. Trans men and their allies have called this denial "divisive and contradictory [...] part of their transmisgynist [sic] ideology", transphobic, and "fetishistic, often infantalizing [sic]".

The troubled relationship between 'gender critical' feminists and trans men is something we definitely should cover but this feels kind of shoehorned in here since the sources aren't really discussing the word. As it stands, the paragraph is verging on WP:SYNTH since neither source really even mentions "[t]he claim by anti-transgender feminists that they are not trans-exclusionary". Haukur (talk) 19:55, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd say it's redundant - we cover that same objection/argument toward the end of paragraph one in TERF#Opposition_to_the_wordNblund talk 20:23, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
@Nblund and Haukurth: What's this? "[t]he claim by anti-transgender feminists that they are not trans-exclusionary". Let's change adjectives and nouns and see how it looks: "[t]he claim by white nationalist ethnic exclusionists that they are not racist ". I could also substitute anti-semitic. User:Oldperson 21:51, 5 October 2019 (UTC) (signature fixed by Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 00:36, 6 October 2019 (UTC))
False equivalency. White nationalists are not saying other groups are not white. Also you did not even address what Haukur was talking about or what the quoted sentences are about. Not sure what you are doing, yet again. —DIYeditor (talk) 12:22, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm a stickler for accuracy. The composition of the above-quoted content from the article ("...Trans men and their allies have called this....") is misleading. The wordage "divisive and contradictory" and "part of their transmisgynist ideology" belongs to the authors, Danelle Wylder and Corrie Westing, as their opinion, and not to "trans men". Opinions by trans men are not quoted in the source.
The "fetishistic, often infantalizing" from the Laura Erickson-Schroth book is not attributed to trans men. The citation quotes material from page 568 ("Some feminists have perceived transmasculine people as traitors...."), which in the source is followed by several quotes from unidentified parties, that may or may not have been trans men.
That paragraph in the article needs to be rewritten according to what the sources actually verify. Pyxis Solitary (yak) 13:20, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Shoring up the lead[edit]

Citations aren't required in the lead but for highly contentious articles sometimes the lead ends up referenced after all. I'm wondering if that's a strategy that could help us here. Haukur (talk) 22:03, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

Agreed. Tons and tons of articles have referenced leads, with good reason, because they are on controversial topics, like this one so clearly is. -Crossroads- (talk) 04:42, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
No objection – had you given any thought to specifically which portions of the lead you thought were worth adding refs for? The one caveat I'd mention, is that preferably the added refs should all be named references that are already present somewhere in the body. New refs shouldn't be necessary if the lead material summarizes the body, as it ought (though they're not prohibited, either). Mathglot (talk) 04:43, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Agree. But if the "highly contentious articles" reasoning is to be applied, conclusionary statements in the lead that aren't supported with RS need {{Citation needed}} for them. And an edit such as this one should be considered invalid. Pyxis Solitary (yak) 07:11, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
It is not “invalid” to remove a {{cn}} tag in the lead. If you want to place a ref there, nobody is stopping you. Saying it isn’t “needed” doesn’t mean it’s “prohibited”, so go ahead. But no statement in the lead that is already supported by RS in the body “needs” to have a duplicate citation in the lead. There is no policy that says that. Mathglot (talk) 09:28, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the invitation, but the article is radioactive and the editing contests are best observed from the outside looking in. Pyxis Solitary (yak) 13:36, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I think we all basically agree. For citing the lead it's best to use the same sources as for the body of the article. Ideally, we'd get the most-informative highest quality sources across here. I'm trying to sort out which those would be. Haukur (talk) 19:25, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Bearing in mind that there is no requirement to cite references in the lead. AIUI.Oldperson (talk) 19:41, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Comment: There's no policy about this afaik, but I prefer to have the full reference in the body, with named references in the lead. There are two reasons for this:
  • the lead is shorter, so the references tend to be a higher proportion of the lead; if they are full references, it makes it hard to pick out the running text in the wikicode, from all the reference code. Much easier if they are just named refs.
  • extending on the first point a bit, there is more likelihood of stacked references[4][12][14] in the lead, for the same reason. This can be further shortened using template {{R}}, e.g.:
    Some assertions here.{{R|Miller 2018|Vasquez 2014|Smythe 2018}}.
  • This is shorter and easier to handle than even "normal" named refs, and far easier than full refs in the lead.
Adding Haukurth. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 01:36, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right – best not to define references in the lead. And 'R' can be a neat way of doing things. Haukur (talk) 11:37, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Self-published sources currently used[edit]

As far as I can see we're currently using five self-published sources:

WP:SPS says: Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable, independent publications.[8] Exercise caution when using such sources: if the information in question is suitable for inclusion, someone else will probably have published it in independent reliable sources.

We have enough traditionally published sources to establish the basic facts and to give a variety of viewpoints. In a situation like that, I don't feel there's a strong case for supplementing with self-published sources. But if we do then we should try our best to be even-handed about it. If Davis and McCready are worth a paragraph-length summary then Allen et al. probably are too. Those are the most detailed academic sources on the 'slur' question and I can sympathize with wanting to use them. Haukur (talk) 17:48, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

In fairness, The Allen citation is probably unnecessary because the IHE article contains the same quote. It might be worth pulling a brief, substantive argument from that article though, since it is cited by a secondary source. Serano's glossary entry is very similar to her argument in an editorial for The Advocate (see footnote), which is, in turn, cited by the TransAdvocate. Davis and McCready, and Deborah Cameron are the real edge cases, in my view - because neither is mentioned by a secondary source, and neither is a particularly central figure in the debate. Nblund talk 19:32, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
In my view, Davis and McCready is not an edge case because, as far as I know, they are the only ones involved in this debate who have demonstrable academic expertise in semantics, which is the relevant discipline (or one of the most relevant disciplines) here. Given this fact, I don't think it is necessary for them to be cited by other interlocutors for their contribution to be significant in this context. Newimpartial (talk) 19:43, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Cameron is cited here (p. 19): [16] I guess we could add this as a source. Haukur (talk) 10:36, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
You say "we have enough traditionally published sources to establish the basic facts and to give a variety of viewpoints", but I don't think that's actually true. In the current version of the article we're citing mostly bloggers and opinion writers in the majority of the article.1There are very few actual academic sources on the term, and almost all of those are self-published. There are also few traditional news sources on the term (though there are plenty of editorials) and many of the exceptions go out of their way to say as little as possible.
I also want to point out: we cite the Guardian a lot in this article as a reliable source, but we have a reliable source (the American version of the Guardian) asserting that the editorial board of the British version of the Guardian is less reliable on this issue than its reputation would normally imply. And several other sources implying that the British press is in general uniquely bad on this issue, at the same time we cite the British press a lot. Which is to say, for several different reasons I think it's most accurate to say we have a bunch of consistently mediocre sources, as opposed to some good sources and some bad sources. All of our sources have problems and they are all roughly the same level of problem, which is why I don't think singling out the sources cited here is terribly helpful. Loki (talk) 04:59, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, there is definitely a split between UK and US sources here with trans-critical perspectives seemingly making more appearances in UK media. But I don't think we can frame that as the UK sources being less reliable. As for mediocre sources you are right that the problems are not limited to those that are self-published. Prestigious traditionally published sources that deal with the subject in depth – that's something we could use more of. Hopefully some of the academic research manages to make its way through the publication process. Haukur (talk) 12:06, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
The issue that I have is that we have UK non-specialist and op-ed sources being elevated to the same level as primarily US sources embodying more expertise. A kind of false equivalency is reflected in the article; I agree that scholarship should have the final word, as it develops. Newimpartial (talk) 12:47, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Contradictory Edits[edit]

Collapsing unconstructive and unfounded accusation. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:19, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Haukurth's back to back edits here and here appear to be one sided, TERF protective.Oldperson (talk) 00:31, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Quotation Marks[edit]

@Aircorn: those quotation marks you removed really aren't "scare quotes". The term "gender critical" isn't commonly known. The quotes serve to let readers not already in-the-know that the terminology is a specific ideology or viewpoint. At least one to start out with to make readers aware of the terminology isn't scare quoting. Terminology that is widely-used and known would be scare-quoted in this instance. This is a very niche term most probably aren't aware of. I suggest putting the marks back. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 07:01, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

@Gwenhope:, are they from a specific source that is being quoted? If not, then no quotation marks, no matter how un-scary they are. I know of no MOS guideline supporting the use of quotation marks for the reason you allude to. (See MOS:QUOTEMARKS, MOS:QUOTATIONS.) Perhaps what you are looking for, is this: "Italics can be used to mark a particular usage as a term of art (a case of "words as words"), especially when it is unfamiliar or should not be reworded by a non-expert." —MOS:CONFORM Mathglot (talk) 08:37, 9 October 2019 (UTC) corrected WAW target, per aeusoes1 below; by Mathglot (talk) 04:09, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)While they might not be intended as scare quotes that is the way they come across. In controversial subjects we should avoid ambiguity. I would suggest using italics if you want to highlight the word. I don't think it is necessary though as whether it is commonly known enough is subjective and the sentence makes it clear how the term is applied. AIRcorn (talk) 08:55, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I was in the middle of adding this, essentially the same point as Aircorn: Even if it is a direct quotation, it shouldn't be quoted if it might be mistaken for scare quotes. See MOS:CONFORM Endangered example. Mathglot (talk) 08:59, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I knew as soon as I edit conflicted with you that we were both saying the same thing. Thanks for providing the links. I knew they were somewhere, but am a bit rusty. AIRcorn (talk) 09:07, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Whenever it's an issue of terminology, we should definitely be using italics, per MOS:WAW (not per WP:WAW, which is about something else). I think the first two instances of it in the article should be italicized. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:09, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Support italicization per above. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:21, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I'd be fine with italics. Haukur (talk) 16:33, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I suppose the MOS page implies we should have terf in italics too, as we did previously. I have no strong feelings about this. LGBT uses italics. Gay is not entirely consistent. Cuckservative uses scare quotes. Haukur (talk) 16:39, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I hadn't noticed that. The MOS page prescribes (not implies) that all of these articles should be using italics when referring to terms as terms. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 17:06, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Slur and not a slur[edit]

CrossroadsI know I have a visual problem, but I can't find an example of both sidesism in your revert here can you please point out to me exactly what is evidenced in that edit by Haukurth that is fair and balanced. I don't see it.Oldperson (talk) 16:12, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

I consider what I said in that link to be enough explanation. -Crossroads- (talk) 16:15, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Many of the references already had quote elements before I came along but some didn't. I like this feature myself so I've been filling in the gaps. I try to pick out the parts of each source which are most relevant for verifying the text in our article. I worry a bit about picking excessively long quotes, which can be hard on our readers and potentially raise copyright concerns. So wherever there are opportunities for abridging the quotes while retaining the key information, let's try to take them. Haukur (talk) 16:45, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Oldperson: the quotes aren't being included in the main body of the article, they're just added to the references. They are helpful to demonstrate that we've accurately characterized the arguments of the people we're citing. I don't think there's a neutrality problem here. We're just adding more detail to the references that are already included in the article. Nblund talk 17:39, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Nblund I really want to be respectful of editors, I really do, but frankly your response is obfuscatory, and that is playing nice. Havine a "balanced" quote in a reference just doesn't cut it. Those who find this article in a search and read it, very seldom if ever bother to click on the citations and when they do they don't read them, so all that J.Q. Public gets is one side of the argument. I also noticed that you used WE in your response. This then is a coordinated effort between you, Haukurth and Crossroads. I find that interesting.Oldperson (talk) 17:48, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Those who find this article in a search and read it, very seldom if ever bother to click on the citations and when they do they don't read them, so all that J.Q. Public gets is one side of the argument. I agree: people are unlikely to click through to the references to see the quotes. Both of the quotes that you removed were included in the references. So JQ public wouldn't see either one of them. I really don't know what your point is here. If you're trying to be respectful, you should reassess your comment here. Nblund talk 18:49, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
NblundWhat I am saying is this. To put a negative in the article, and a positive in a citation. Is not being even handed and can not be used to claim a NPOV. The average person who accesses this article will see the statement, but not the comment in the referenceOldperson (talk) 23:43, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
But that isn't what happened in the edit you linked above. That edit includes one negative and one positive quote, both are inside citations. Stuff that is inside the "<ref>" tags only shows up in the reference section. Nblund talk 23:59, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

NPOV tag - do we need it?[edit]

The article isn't flawless but it seems to me that it represents a pretty honest effort to accurately summarize what reliable sources have to say about the topic. What do you think, can we remove the NPOV tag? Haukur (talk) 23:30, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Not unless we replace it with some other tags. The article still relies too heavily on self published sources and the views section is formatted disingenuously at best. AIRcorn (talk) 00:54, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for chiming in. It's true that we still have no consensus on the self-published expert sources but it seems to me that we are at least using them in a reasonably even-handed manner. The most substantial SPS are the two academic drafts which come to opposite conclusions on whether the word is a slur. Maybe this problem simply gets solved by those articles getting published... Maybe I'll write to the academics in question and ask how things stand.
Can you think of a good way ahead with the 'views' material? Are there particular paragraphs you feel are problematic or is it more an organizational issue? Haukur (talk) 07:56, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Mainly organisational. We have two sub sections (Opposition to the word and Responses to opposition), yet a lot of the content appears to be under the wrong heading. We should either have the responses together under the one heading, change the names of the sub-headings or get rid of them altogether (prefer the third option personally). My main gripe though is the overuse of WP:SPS and other not terribly reliable sources. AIRcorn (talk) 22:05, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the Opposition and Responses structure is somewhat unfortunate. But if we remove the subheadings we'd be left with an uncomfortably long section. Maybe some other subdivision would work. Haukur (talk) 10:21, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
I know of one solution to a long section full of poor sources that would solve your concern. AIRcorn (talk) 05:28, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
FWIW I think the current heading is good. AIRcorn (talk) 05:41, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Happy to hear that! I think we've made some real progress. Haukur (talk) 09:41, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm believe that a big component of why that NPOV tag was put there in the first place is because of the wording that's being addressed in the above RFC. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:21, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
The first paragraph is indeed a tough nut to crack. One thing that I think is less than ideal is that we currently wait until the second paragraph to clarify that TERF is an exonym and not a self-identification. Haukur (talk) 15:59, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps. I think the controversial nature of the topic will always boil down into someone/s with power taking a stand based on the sources that align with their beliefs. Such is navigating anything WP:FRINGE. I personally would merge into a more overarching, better-scoped article about Trans-Exclusive Feminism. I don't believe true NPOV is possible. It's just a goal to strive for, not a reality to be obtained. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 23:44, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
What Gwenhope said. (Not a question but agreement} Try as one might NPOV appears to be an impossibility. The rules are to AGF, assume NPOV, but face it, unless the subject is inane (like golf,soccer or watching paint dry..for me at least). NPOV is virtually impossible and a skilled editor can use WP MOS,NPOV, WP:DUE, WP:CIR, guidelines, rules to twist, revert, insert their particular POV all the while acting as though they are pretending to being neutral. Maybe it is time to merge the articles. In fact I don't understand why there are two articles on the same subject Oldperson (talk) 18:14, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
What two articles are you talking about? There is not another article covered precisely this topic that I am aware of. —DIYeditor (talk) 03:14, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
They're probably talking about Feminist views on transgender topics, but having seen this split off from there I think it was a definite good decision and do not support merging it back. I honestly think that article has some inherent WP:FALSEBALANCE problems from the title down. (And for what it's worth, I also think we need an article on the concept of trans exclusionary radical feminism because this article on the term only clearly is accumulating information that should go in that article.) Loki (talk) 03:59, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

We don't need an article on "trans exclusionary radical feminism". That would be an unneeded fork, with tendency to becoming a POV fork, of Feminist views on transgender topics. Also, above, under the ContraPoints section, you yourself stated, there are very few reliable sources about this topic at all. Without that, we cannot support an article on that topic. -Crossroads- (talk) 04:17, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
One question is whether there is a coherent enough and significant enough movement for us to have a separate article on. The most coherent summing up of gender-critical viewpoints I know of is in a Quillette article by Prof. Lawford-Smith. She gives a sort of manifesto in three paragraphs starting with "Gender-critical feminist philosophers, by contrast"[17] That gives some idea of the conflict points such an article could cover. Maybe it's worth quoting at some length: "Gender-critical feminist philosophers oppose a policy of self-identification alone, oppose the inclusion of male people in women’s sport, oppose the inclusion of male people in women’s single-sex spaces or services (such as changing rooms, and domestic-violence or rape shelters), and oppose open access to women’s single-sex provisions (such as women’s prizes or award shortlists). They are concerned with the impacts of the wider “gender-identity” narrative upon children and young people, and on gay and lesbian youth; particularly as it displaces the idea of gender as a set of harmful norms, imposed on the basis of sex. They urge caution in regard to policies that demand immediate “affirmation” in regard to trans-identified children. They deny that sex is socially constructed, and they make a sex/gender distinction. Such feminists generally use “man” and “woman” as terms relating to sex, not gender, and contest the idea that “transwomen are women” in the simple, sloganeering way that has become popular." She helpfully owns a bunch of positions there and paints an orderly picture of a particular worldview. So at least it's not a strawman defined only by its opponents. But I'm still not sure whether there is enough notability or quality sources to base an article on. Haukur (talk) 11:07, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
It seems to me that that would be better to include that source in Feminist views on Transgender topics, and keep this one to the terminology. Newimpartial (talk) 16:20, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Quillette is not a reliable source (they have been caught not only publishing articles without fact-checking when it fits their bias, but intentionally modifying them in deceptive ways.) They don't have the reputation for fact-checking or accuracy that WP:RS requires, and therefore can't be cited for anything. If someone's "manifesto" is worth covering and is genuinely representative of something, it will be cited in a source that does actual fact-checking and which has a reputation we can rely on for at least the basic assumptions it makes. --Aquillion (talk) 16:31, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I didn't at all mean to suggest that we cite this here, I was just wondering about the possible basis for an article on gender critical feminism. Lawford-Smith is apparently working on a book on this topic. That would certainly be a much more solid source for that perspective than a Quillette article so maybe the scene will look different in a couple of years. For now I don't particularly think we need an additional article. Haukur (talk) 16:57, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I took the time to google and read Lawford-Smith's article Here my personal opinion is irrelevant,but I find myself somewhat in agreement with parts of her statement and disagreement with others, but I find her use of the term "male-people" confusing, maybe troubleseome. is she using Male-People was opposed to male-dogs or male-horses? In context the term is redundant and thus unnecessary so she is obviously trying to promote an ideological point of view, which I assume is that male is the sex assignment at birth and that biology is destiny. We are identified at birth by physicians and parents and thus socialized accordingly and that the process is inescapable, rock solid, or so it seems to be believed by some (such as TERFS). That ideology is of course a farce. [[18]] are just one example,socialized and raised as the sex determined by the physician at birth on the basis of his or her interpretation of genitalia, and there is still much that we do not know about chromosones, genes, DNA the science is young and more is revealed daily, such as epigenetics. The formation of one's identity is more complex. I do understand the psychological need for safe zones, but in truth there are no safe zones.Lesbians (even gender critical ones) are not safe from the predations of other lesbians. This is a difficult subject as evidenced by the length of this talk page. Where it leads, inevitably, is into the psychology (fears, childhood experiences, etc) of those who strongly hold opinions. And that is a place I do not think a TERF wants to go, but it is a place that transgendered people have obviously gone. Apologies I do not wish to make this a forum or soapbox,but am trying to bring to the fore the underlying issues and problems that have resulted in this drawn out discussion.Oldperson (talk) 19:04, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I find her use of the term "male-people" confusing, maybe troubleseome. is she using Male-People was opposed to male-dogs or male-horses? Yes, though she's not hyphenating it like you did. The form "X people" (black people, able-bodied people) is pretty common in social justice discourse, for the purpose of emphasizing personhood and therefore human dignity. -Pine457 (talk) 19:50, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Pine457Thanx. I must say this is the first time I have heard of this, using gender, or race, or status, as an adjective to the noun people. I would imagine if the conversation was about people,and not horses or dogs, then the fact that they were people would be a given, and the use of male people or female people was redundant. You are correct about the hyphenation, that was my error subconsciously influenced by Lawford Smith's usage. I do not think that there is a need to emphasize personhood in a article that deals with persons, but I do think that human dignity is relevant as it is something that is overlooked when it comes to transpersons. The social effect of the human dignity on transwomyn by TERFs, seems not to be much mentioned as compared to the effect on TERFs.Oldperson (talk) 22:47, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────── As far as having a separate article, I can't say it better than Crossroads already did, above:

We don't need an article on "trans exclusionary radical feminism". That would be an unneeded fork, with tendency to becoming a POV fork, of Feminist views on transgender topics.

In a nutshell, that's it. Mathglot (talk) 04:01, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

@Mathglot: I will say part of the issue relies on framing. The aforementioned page basically uses language to partially sanitize the topic, which anyone who goes to that article realizing it's mostly just anti-trans positioning. I think it's important that the WP:WIKIVOICE we use correctly labels terf-ism/gender-criticality as a specific type of ideology. Right now we treat these anti-trans viewpoints as some disparate individual opinions of people under the "feminist" label. I substitute and wonder what many would say if, for example, we treated the various "race realists" as individualistic opinion instead of part of the larger white supremacism ideology, or if the resurgent forms of neo-fascism rebranded under the alt-right moniker were treated as disjointed solo opinions. Not treating trans-exclusive feminism as a specific ideology in itself is not only disingenuous, but poorly-serves the primary purpose of being WP:HERE - building an encyclopedia. We are poorly served having TERF and Feminist views on transgender topics instead of Trans-exclusive Feminism. Gwen Hope (talk) (contrib) 04:58, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
@Gwenhope:, Thanks for your comment. While I don't disagree that framing (assuming I understand what you mean by that) can be part of the picture, I don't agree that there is a specific feminism-related ideology here. Remember, that when originally coined, TERF stood for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist"— that is, not ...feminism, but feminist. There was a reason for that: there is no "trans-exclusionary radical feminism", afaict, like there are Radical feminism, Liberal feminism, anarcho-feminism, Chicana feminism, and any number of other feminisms with a philosophy behind them (see the {{Feminism sidebar}} for more). "Homophobia" is not an ideology; "transphobia" is not an ideology; "xenophobia is not an ideology; there is no theory or study behind any of them. It's just a bigoted belief system. There are no -ism-like academic journals for it, the way we have Transgender Studies Quarterly, Journal of Homosexuality, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and so on. No "Xenophobic Journal", no "Journal of the American Homophobic Society", and no "Transexclusionary Quarterly". The content that would theoretically go in Trans-exclusive Feminism belongs instead in pieces distributed among Transphobia, Radical feminism, and Feminist views on transgender topics.
Now, if you meant an article "Trans-exclusionary radical femists", then I wouldn't necessarily object, but we couldn't have both TERF and that article. At least, an -ists article would have a title that corresponded to WP:NDESC, and TERF could either be a child article to its parent per WP:SS, or else be turned into a redirect to a section of that article. That's how I see it. Mathglot (talk) 07:48, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I pretty strongly agree with GwenHope here: trans-exclusionary radical feminism is pretty clearly a shared ideology which is much narrower than simply "transphobia". We have articles on other bigoted ideologies. Not all racists are fascists or identitarians but we have articles on fascism and identitarianism. Not all homophobes are religious but we still have an article on Christian fundamentalism. Loki (talk) 23:21, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Transphobe or Androphobe[edit]

Given that TERF's accept transmen, they aren't trans exclusionary. The fact that they deny the gender identity of transmen and transwomyn. Indicates that they are androphobes, The fact that they fear (discriminate) against even post operative (sexual reassignment surgery) transwomyn, puts them into a different class, since the object of their phobia no longer possesses the thing that they fear or despise.There are genetic women who have been raised and socialized as boys, and genetic boys raised and socialized as girls. Often on reaching their teens they reject their socialization. The same is true the opposite. Apparently Prof Lawford-Smith's problem and that of her "sisters" is a problem of their own construction. Especially ironic is the fact that they are not only allies,but providers of "raw meat" to the homophobes who have a case before the supreme court,which would roll back their own hard won rights. Maybe a "section The Contradiction of TERFism"Oldperson (talk) 19:32, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

TERFs don't actually accept trans men. A problem with the article, as it is now, is that it implies otherwise with this sentence: Some self-described gender critical feminists argue that they cannot accurately be described as trans-exclusionary since they are inclusive of trans men. Yet on NBC News you can see an anti-trans "feminist" angrily confronting a trans woman about young "lesbians" getting "double mastectomies". And recently, when a trans male student filed lawsuit against his school for refusing him the right to use the boys' bathroom, the transphobic Women's Liberation Front filed an amicus brief opposing the suit. WanderingWanda (talk) 22:31, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Allen et al. have this: This means it includes trans men (however much they might wish it didn’t, given that they generally won’t like to think of themselves as being female), and so is not ‘trans-exclusionary’ in any general sense.[19] So it's fairly well established that this theoretical inclusion isn't particularly desired. The current paragraph does try to make that clear but maybe we can do better. Haukur (talk) 23:07, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Well-meaning people can disagree about what acceptance means. Gender critical feminists generally think that transmen are women, and accept them as such, on the premise that feminism is a movement for the liberation of female people. Acceptance doesn't necessarily entail agreeing with people's beliefs about themselves. One common gender critical view is that consumerism encourages us all to view our bodies as bad and needing to be changed, as a result some people develop eating disorders, some obsess over exercise, some take pills, some seek plastic surgery. Women additionally notice that the female body is a frequent target for sexual harassment, and this begins at a young age. These factors can make a woman uncomfortable in a female body. But it doesn't follow that a woman wanting to be rid of her female body is therefore a man, and we don't have to say that elective double mastectomies are a good outcome. We can accept transmen by saying it's OK to be a woman, your body is not wrong and you don't have to drastically it. And WoLF's interest in that court case was not specifically in keeping girls out of boys' bathrooms, but in preventing a precedent that would then allow boys into girls' bathrooms. -Pine457 (talk) 23:34, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
We need to be careful how we word this. "Acceptance" or "inclusion" of trans people, in an article about trans issues at least, will be assumed by the reader to mean acceptance or inclusion of trans people as trans people, not as something else entirely. We need to take care not to mislead the reader. TERFs do not even believe that there is any such thing as a trans man, so I agree with WanderingWanda that we do need to reword the part saying "inclusive of trans men" as, by the TERFs' own definition, that phrase includes absolutely nobody at all and hence the objection we are reporting would seem to convey no actual information.
TERFs making a performance out of pretending to "accept" trans men as women is primarily just another form of rejection and invalidation. (I'm pretty certain that if trans men actually started showing up at TERF events, where they are theoretically welcome, then the pretence would collapse in an instant.) We need to be very careful of using words like "acceptance" and "inclusion" outside of direct quotes because that could mislead the reader into taking these, often insincere, claims at face value.
So how should we make the minimum acceptable tweak to "since they are inclusive of trans men" to resolve this while maintaining neutrality and not opening up a lot more problems? Ideally, we should be guided by the approaches we take on articles about religious subjects, where we are careful to describe claims and beliefs in ways that neither imply credence or incredulity. We can bypass the problem completely by replacing it with a representative phrase directly quoted from one of the references, presented in quotation marks. That is probably the best approach. Alternatively, we could consider a wording like "since they claim to be inclusive of trans men" (probably not ideal in terms of neutrality or comprehensibility) or "since they offer to include trans men, considering them to be women" (which seems a more clear and neutral way to make the same clarification). We could fudge it by saying "since they only exclude trans women" but that might not make the nature of the objection clear. Of these options, I think the direct quote route is the easiest way to achieve neutrality here. It gives the TERFs their say, in their own words, but not in Wikipedia's own voice. --DanielRigal (talk) 01:19, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I've tweaked the wording to make things clearer. (It now says "because they say they are inclusive" rather than "because they are inclusive".) (The paragraph still needs work tho, it's WP:WEASEL-wordy: "some people say this, some people say that".) WanderingWanda (talk) 02:15, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
@Oldperson:, to some extent, this discussion is a reprise of #Transmisogyny, above; so have a look at that discussion, also.
With respect to androphobe, in general, I disagree. Whereas some self-described "gender critical" individuals may be androphobic, certainly some are fine with men being men, as long as they don't try to pass themselves off as women, which they are not, by their way of thinking To me, it is clear that they are not androphobic, they are transmisogynist. Not the same.
As you say, they despise trans women even post-SRS (or don't despise them, but don't consider them women), so you're right that it has nothing to do with the possession of a penis. From their point of view, they are men, before and after. By that reckoning, self-described gender-critical women have the same point of view as that which was enunciated by Janice Raymond in 1979 in her book, The Transsexual Empire. As Raymond stated it then (by transsexual Raymond means trans women; the word didn't exist then):

All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves .... Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive.

This is pretty close to the view of gender critical women towards trans women; it really doesn't matter if they are pre- or post-SRS to them; and therefore, deserving of being excluded from women's spaces.
While I don't necessarily disagree with WanderingWanda that some self-described gender critical women are transphobic even against trans men, certainly not all are; after all, they view trans men as women. Those that hold that view are transmisogynist and not transphobic.
As a side issue: it's interesting to me that Raymond isn't mentioned anywhere in this article, since TERFs are Raymond's fellow travelers and intellectual disciples. I'll have a look around, to see if their are some good sources that have made that connection. To me, nothing could be clearer, but perhaps it hasn't been written about yet. Mathglot (talk) 03:05, 13 October 2019 (UTC) redacted by Mathglot (talk) 04:41, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
MathglotI have to study to internalize and thoroughly understand your cogent response..Oldperson (talk) 03:33, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
So, there are some discussions out there about TERFs and Raymond in reliable sources:
  • targeted search – only 5 results, but uses Google's NEAR operator to search only for highly targeted results
  • regular search – about 140 results (the 3,840 count is wrong); these are pages that mention "Raymond" and "TERF" somewhere on the page, but maybe not together
Hope this helps, Mathglot (talk) 03:41, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Mathglot, you are probably one of the best editors on this page, but I have to disagree with your approach above. We should not be googling two terms to find links between them. It is basically confirmation bias and something which we run into a lot of problems with on controversial topics. We should be googling the topic of the article and using the results we find to write the article. AIRcorn (talk) 06:29, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't disagree to the extent that you are raising a WP:DUEWEIGHT issue; but that's all it is. If the reliable sources are out there, and it's not a FRINGE view, but a majority or minority view, then it's fair game to be added to the article. The only remaining question is, how long, or short, it should be, wrt to other viewpoints. Mathglot (talk) 09:48, 13 October 2019 (UTC)